Blog Archives

May 24, 2013

Joey Votto actually could give 110%

Votto's a good looking guy

If Joey Votto puts his mind to it, he can accomplish anything.

One of my minor pet peeves is when people make a comment about devoting more than 100% to a certain task. Technically, that’s impossible. Sure, I understand what the person means: they’re devoting all of themselves to whatever it is they’re talking about.

A person has 100% to give to something at any given moment. Anything more than that is not something that a person is capable of.

Except for maybe Joey Votto. The more I read about him and his approach to the game of baseball, the more I think he could do anything he set his mind to, even breaking the laws of mathematics. I mean, just look at one of the finer points of Pete Rose’s that he’s taken to heart.

“Early in my career, Pete kept an eye on me,” Votto said, “and the one piece of advice he gave me was, ‘When you get the second hit, get the third hit. And when you get the third hit, get the fourth hit. And when you get the fourth hit, get the fifth hit.’ That really stuck with me, because it’s a genuine challenge when you’re tired, or you’re sick, or the score is mismatched, or you’re facing a tough pitcher, or you’re not in a good mood that day. Whatever it is.

“What I took away from Pete’s advice is, ‘You’re playing for yourself. You’re competing for your team. You’re doing the best you can every day to get the most out of your abilities.’ So when I have that at-bat when the score is 10-0, yeah, I usually check in with myself and make sure I’m in a prime place to hit and I’m ready to go and I’m not about to give away this at-bat. I’ll take my time before the at-bat or call timeout so there’s no excuses and nothing I can look back and regret.”

It’s the epitome of never giving up an at-bat, no matter the situation. And it appears to be rubbing off on other Reds. Shin-Soo Choo is an obvious example. Choo has seen his on-base percentage explode so far this year compared to his career percentage. While that could still come down to earth, it may not, and Choo’s already crediting Votto for his smooth transition to the National League.

Choo has used Votto as a major resource in his acclimation to the National League. If he’s not picking Votto’s brain on the pitcher he’s about to face, he’s eyeballing Votto’s at-bats from the dugout or the basepaths for subtle tips on how to approach different situations.

Even Xavier Paul is getting in on the not making outs train. His on-base percentage is third on the team. As he said to John Fay, “To me, on-base percentage is lot more impressive than batting average.” Obviously, hits are a component of getting on base, but the growing realization among Reds players about the value of each out is refreshing to see. Hopefully, the manager will one day see that, as well.

All in all, Joey Votto is awesome. We all already knew that, except maybe for a certain micro-processing fart funnel. But it’s always nice to see stories outside of Cincinnati reflect that.

May 15, 2013

Joey Votto on Sports Illustrated’s Fortunate 50 list

Votto in a tuxEvery year since 2004, Sports Illustrated has rounded up the annual income of athletes and ranked them. This year, the number one athlete is boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. And making his first appearance on the list is Cincinnati Red favorite Joey Votto.

Yes, coming in at number 45 with a total income of $19,250,000 is Votto.

The 2010 MVP and a perennial All-Star isn’t a national household name. But Votto, 29, is extremely popular in Reds country and last year Kroger markets unveiled VottO’s cereal in Cincinnati and Dayton.

Only $250,000 of that total is from endorsements, so there’s definitely room for improvement in the future.

As far as I can tell, Votto is the first Red to make an appearance on the list. The first few years of the list were never placed on the internet in full and have been lost forever, so I’m saying that’s good enough.

Congratulations, Joey! And congratulations to the Reds’ ownership. It’s really nice to see them committing to keeping their excellent home-grown talent and rewarding them accordingly.

February 26, 2013

Votto hits first home run since June 24

It’s only Spring Training, but yesterday Joey Votto hit his first home run in a baseball game since June 24. That was two knee surgeries and one disappointing playoff appearance ago, in case you were counting.

The Cincinnati Enquirer’s video of the shot from the press box is below.

This is just great to see, and it has nothing to do with the Reds winning their first game of the Spring. Votto having his power back, along with his awesome everything else, makes this team so much more dangerous.

August 26, 2012

Votto to rehab in Dayton

Votto will rehab with class A Dayton starting Tuesday.

The day of Joey Votto’s return to the Cincinnati Reds may be this next week.

The Reds plan to have Joey Votto play rehab games at Single-A Dayton on Tuesday and Wednesday. If all goes well, Votto will rejoin the Reds and be activated next weekend when the club plays in Houston.

Votto hasn’t played since July 15. Since then, he’s had two procedures on his knee to deal with loose cartilage. And I can’t write any more about the procedure because it starts making me a little queasy.

For the last few days, Votto has been doing baseball activities at Great American Ball Park. However, he doesn’t feel that’s enough to jump right back into the major league lineup and would like a couple games in the minors.

“Hopefully two (games), depending on how I’m feeling,” Votto said. “I’m a little apprehensive because I haven’t played in such a long time, but once I get going I’ll feel fine.”

I understand his apprehension, but I also miss seeing him in the lineup. It has been nice that the team has gone 27-13 in his absence, but there’s no player I enjoy watching more than him. His return is getting closer, though. I just hope he lays off the sliding.

June 30, 2012

Joey Votto and his #VoteVotto lead

Votto during Opening Night.

Voting for the All Star game has ended, and the last time Major League Baseball released the vote totals, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was far-and-away the overall vote leader for the National League. He’s set to join a list of some impressive Reds.

He will join Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Ken Griffey Jr. as Reds who have won the overall NL vote.

“That would an enormous deal for me,” Votto said.

Votto leads St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman by 3 million votes. When Votto wins, this will be his third All-Star game, but his first as a starter.

“It means a lot,” he said. “We’re a small-market team. For the fans to think I worthy of garnering so many votes is a great honor. If I win the NL vote, it will be one of the cooler things that has happened for me.”

It sounds like the rest of the baseball world is starting to wake up and realize the awesomeness that is a grown man named Joey. The Reds better hurry and lock up this guy to a long-term contract soon.