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Joey Votto wants Reds fans to get to know him better

Feb 21, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT

Joey Votto Getty Getty Images

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted a link to an interesting video about Joey Votto earlier tonight. (If you can’t watch the video through Twitter, this link should work.)

In the two minute-long video, Votto talks about how many Reds fans have the wrong idea about him. He attributes this to his workmanlike demeanor and to a “skewed perspective” from writers, which has caused Reds fans to view him as aloof and uncaring. Votto says he wants fans to get to know him better.

Votto has also been a lightning rod in the debate between fans of newer stats and fans of older stats. Back in June, Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman slammed Votto for not having many RBI — he had 37 at the time, on a pace for 80 over a full season. In a radio interview at the end of October, Votto dismissed the judgment directed at him based on RBI, explaining that his number one job is to get on base whether it’s with a hit or with a walk, seemingly aligning himself more with the new school way of thinking.

Love him or hate him, Votto is a very perceptive and introspective person, and we need more players like him in sports these days.

By the way, you can support Votto’s charity by visiting VottoFoundation.org, which helps those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

  1. baseballisboring - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    If you ever needed an example as to why the OBP thing is important…consider that Brandon Phillips had 100 RBI’s last year while hitting .260 with limited power. Think about it, seriously. Votto’s one of the best players in the game, period.

    • infieldhit - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:30 AM

      The whole “my job is to drive in runs” mentality just limits ways the guys behind you can contribute to a win.

      If you get on base, you move runners over, AND you give others a chance to move you over. Otherwise, it’s like being an elite scorer in basketball, and not passing to a guy wide open in the paint because, hey, passing’s not your job.

  2. sportsfan69 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    Joey, you’re a great player. That’s highly dedicated and hardworking, two traits that as a fan I respect. Don’t stop showing emotions during the game. Now that Dusty is gone, cursing is OK. Let your anger out, then move on to the next at bat.

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Don’t you mean…”start” showing emotion? Dude is easily one of the best in MLB. For this reason…I gave you a thumbs up. But he is a bump on a log emotion wise. Dude needs to smile, laugh, cough, fart…something.

  3. sportsfan18 - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:23 AM

    One other thing to point out about Votto is that he’s NOT just a singles hitter who takes a lot of walks.

    Yes, he does take a lot of walks.

    But he is routinely in the top 4 or 5 in the National League in Slugging percentage EVERY year.

    Last year, he had an off season slugging wise and he was still in the top ten in the National league in slugging.

    A few years, he lead the league in slugging percentage.

    He has a great career slugging percentage.

    He is in 33rd place ALL TIME in the history of the game for having the highest career slugging percentage.

    Only 32 are higher than him.

    Votto has a higher career slugging percentage than ALL of the following players:

    Ken Griffey Jr.
    Duke Snider
    Frank Robinson
    Al Simmons
    Willie Stargell
    MIKE SCHMIDT
    Willie McCovey
    Harmon Killebrew

    And many, many others… With a slugging percentage this high, he does a lot more than just slap singles and draw walks.

    And does he EVER get on base. In ADDITION to his excellent slugging percentage, he’s LEAD the league in on base percentage for the PAST FOUR seasons.

    So he slugs the ball, gets on base and hits for a high average too.

    What’s not to like? He plays good “D” too.

    • cohnjusack - Feb 22, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Votto has a higher career slugging percentage than ALL of the following players:

      Ken Griffey Jr.
      Duke Snider
      Frank Robinson
      Al Simmons
      Willie Stargell
      MIKE SCHMIDT
      Willie McCovey
      Harmon Killebrew

      Yes, that is a trick you can do with players who have yet to go through a decline phase.
      Votto’s SLG is currently .541. What were these guy’s slugging percentage through Votto’s age?

      Ken Griffey Jr — .569
      Duke Snider — .557
      Frank Robinson — .554
      Al Simmons — .596
      Willie Stargell — .501
      MIKE SCHMIDT — .511
      Willie McCovey — .536
      Harmon Killebrew — .534

      Votto is great, but comparing percentage stats of a player in his prime to the career marks of those who went through a decline phase results in some less-than-accurate comparisons.

      • paperlions - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        In addtiion, SLG is not a neutralized stat and varies with scoring environment. Votto has played in one of the most HR and hitter friendly parks during the highest offensive era in history. Yes, he is fantastic, but there are many reasons why such a comparison of SLG among generations and players is deceptive, or, at least, not particularly informative..

      • sportsfan18 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:31 PM

        True. But my point was ONLY to say that Votto is MORE than just a singles hitter who draws a lot of walks.

        So many criticize him for not driving in enough runs.

        Yes, he will decline and he will not finish in 33rd place all time in Slugging percentage.

        But that was NOT my point though. It was only to point out that he does more than just slap singles and draw walks.

        Nothing more, nothing less.

  4. sfm073 - Feb 22, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    Management should be upset for not putting the right players in front of him so he can drive them in. Joey Votto getting stranded at first isn’t worth his contract.

  5. nattination - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:31 AM

    I knew Joey was the real deal when I heard he was learning Spanish in his off time so he could communicate with his Latin teammates. Looking at the bigger picture. He gets, ‘IT’.

  6. infieldhit - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:33 AM

    A series of commercials featuring Votto trying way too hard to prove he has personality would be funny. If only baseball players actually got to be in commercials.

  7. JoeHoward - Feb 22, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Ok well first off – Marty Brennaman is a bitter old man whom I can no longer listen to on the radio. The guy has become a joke.
    As for Joey… We love you joey. You’re the only sports jersey I’ve ever owned. I appreciate so much the passion he has for the game. These interviews he’s been doing in the last month are making so many fans so happy. He’s intelligent and insightful. I will bet all the money in my pockets he comes back this year with a war over 7. I don’t know what else to say except this man is a great ball player and amazing citizen of Cincinnati.

  8. jm91rs - Feb 22, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Check out 1530homer.com, go to lances blog. He has 3 or 4 hours of podcasts with joey in the past month, and it’s good stuff. He’s very aware of his approach, he understands people might not like it and even admits that in the 7th inning of a close game with a man in scoring position he doesn’t always follow his own “get on base approach”. While not giving in to the critics that cry about his RBI totals, he admits he knows he’s the best hitter on the team and sometimes it’s his job to get a hit instead of a walk in big situation. He is exactly what a fan should hope for in a sabre driven world.

  9. paperlions - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    “Votto dismissed the judgment directed at him based on RBI, explaining that his number one job is to get on base whether it’s with a hit or with a walk, seemingly aligning himself more with the new school way of thinking.”

    He didn’t really align himself with any “faction”, he just said something smart. OBP is more highly correlated with scoring runs than anything else. Teams are only guaranteed 27 PAs each game, every time you get on base, you earn your team another PA, and more PAs = more runs.

  10. yahmule - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    I’ve always been a fan. I remember when he went through some tough times early and the Reds put him on the DL for stress related issues. When I found out it was because he was struggling to deal with the loss of his dad, who died at just 51 years old, it just made me like him even more.

    Many people have forgotten, but after Votto’s 24 games in 2007, when he posted .321/.360/.548, Dusty Baker tried his damnedest to give the 1B job to Scott Hatteberg in spring of 2008. Votto destroyed the Cactus League and made it impossible for him, though.

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