Yesterday, as I was basking in the glow of a solid managerial hire, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw this quote from Walt Jocketty:
He (Joey Votto) has to fit better into the role we see for him, or he might have to hit in a different spot in the order….. that’s something Bryan will certainly approach Joey with, and something we will discuss. There are certain things he has to do.
This is ridiculous. If you are sabermetrically-inclined, as I am, you realize the RBIs are highly overrated as an individual statistic and that Joey Votto had an excellent season (though perhaps not one that was up to his recent standard).
If you are old school, you should be able to realize that lots of other old school managers saw BP batting behind Votto and thought, yeah, let’s just not give him anything to hit. When he did get something to hit, he often responded by moving a runner into scoring position for Phillips to drive in with a base hit (or a sac fly or a groundout). If Bruce hits 4th and someone who can hit at all bats 2nd, JV is living in a different world.
If you’ve heard Votto talk about hitting, you know that he knows what he’s doing. If you’ve heard him talk about his injury, then you know his knee wasn’t right until very near the end of the season.
If you have any sense at all, you know that you don’t publicly call out your best player, the one you’re tied to for 10 more years, after he just had a very good season wherein he dealt with an injury.
I don’t get this at all. The only ironic thing about it is that if Votto does shift in the order, it would probably to be second, and there’s a very good sabermetric argument that this is where your best hitter should hit (there or 4th).