2015 Reds

The unacceptable Paul Daugherty

[This article was co-authored by Mike Maffie and Steve Mancuso.]

Paul Daugherty has authored a paper trail of criticism directed at Joey Votto that stretches farther than one of the slugger’s trademark opposite-field home runs.

Daugherty, a sportswriter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, has written columns that questioned Votto’s toughness, willingness to play through injury and then criticized Votto’s production when he did play injured. When Votto hasn’t played with enough passion for Daugherty’s taste, the writer described the Reds first baseman as disengaged. The Joey Votto Isn’t Paid to Walk nostalgia club? Daugherty is a dial-up-modem-carrying member.

Yet despite Paul Daugherty’s well-worn pattern, it was still a bit breathtaking to read his column yesterday criticizing Joey Votto’s angry outburst Wednesday night.

In a way, you have to feel sympathy for Daugherty and the Votto bashers who occupy broadcast booths. This baseball season has been kinda tough on them, what with the Reds first baseman having another one of the greatest years of all time. The anti-Votto choir has been stat-shamed into silence. But old habits die hard. Daugherty couldn’t resist taking Votto to task over the horrible sin of getting thrown out of a game – something that happens to the 2010 MVP about once a season.

Because of his long history of unfair criticism, presumption goes against Daugherty when it comes to the Reds’ first baseman. But before we dig into the substance of what Daugherty wrote, let’s look at what well-respected voices in the national baseball media had to say about the incident between Votto and umpire Bill Welke.

Peter Gammons tweeted:

Phil Rogers praised Votto for the passion he showed. Craig Calcaterra called Votto’s outburst “a thing of beauty” and “fantastic”. Calcaterra went on to belittle Welke’s comment about Votto spitting on him by calling the comment “bush league.” Perhaps the best discussion about the Votto-Welke feud was between Buster Olney and Keith Law on Olney’s ESPN podcast:

Buster Olney: “Joey Votto 90-95 percent of the time has a terrific relationship with umpires, a respectful relationship with umpires. [Votto asking for time] was like the kid who’s angry and is asking to walk in the corner for a little bit, [saying] I’m not happy about what took place can you just give me a little bit of space? And the answer was ‘no’, and I just think in that case, he could have given some latitude to Votto.”

Keith Law: He’s just asking for time. I don’t even see why that’s a big deal. And what could he have said?  He wasn’t even talking to Welke at the time. This is the part that bothered me the most: he was so quick to eject Votto, which almost says to me, was he looking for a reason to eject Votto at that point. I mean at that point, that’s a situation where Welke should have been able to at least calm it down. And then obviously if Votto drops one of the forbidden words or something, then at that point, okay fine, you throw him out. But Votto didn’t seem or appear to be heated or angry until Welke threw him out, and then he lost his mind. And I kinda can’t really blame him at that point because it looks like Welke completely overstepped his bounds…it looked to me like he [Welke] massively overreacted to, as you said, a player with a good reputation for demeanor and the subject at hand – which in this case, is a blown ball/strike call.” [emphasis in original]

C Trent Rosecrans provides the full follow-up comment where Price defends Votto’s actions as warranted:

“I wasn’t at home plate, but I do know that Joey has a good rapport with the umpires. I think when he talks, he talks respectfully, and obviously something got sideways there between the two of them, and it went into a direction we had hoped it wouldn’t,” Price said. “I think Joey handled himself professionally up until the ejection and then was rightfully upset. How do you qualify what’s the right way to be upset? He was upset. Bill was upset. I was upset. There was a lot of upset people today. You know, and that’s – we felt it was warranted.”

Today, Price voiced a full defense of his first basement:

“From what I know, from talking with Joey and also from talking with Bill out on the field, (Votto) requested a timeout and was not granted it,” Price said. “That, to me, would warrant a response from Joey to get some help from his manager. Which he asked for and was ejected for. That’s what I know.”

Now, back to what Paul Daugherty wrote. He made two points: (1) That if anyone acted like Votto in a normal workplace environment, they would be fired, and (2) Joey Votto hurt his team by “removing himself at a critical point in the game.”

To set the record straight – and this should be obvious – Joey Votto didn’t remove himself from the game. The umpire did. Votto had turned to talk to his manager and was thrown out. Even Daugherty admits the ump blew it. Given that, how exactly is it fair to conclude that Votto “removed himself” from the game? Votto’s outburst didn’t hurt the Reds chances since he had already been thrown out of the game. Daugherty gets the timeline backwards and that completely undercuts his point.

Daugherty’s first point is just as off base, that Votto’s actions would result in anyone else being fired from their job. The cultural differences between a normal workplace and Joey Votto’s batter’s box are large. Many workplaces do have “shop talk” and other direct, loud and personal arguments.

But for Daugherty to write a column singling out Votto’s outburst for criticism displays jaw-dropping hypocrisy. Daugherty has a pattern of looking the other way, or endorsing, the behavior of other professional sports figures that wouldn’t be any more appropriate in the typical workplace than Votto’s tirade.

For example, in yesterday’s column, Daugherty scolded us all for giving “a pass” to coaches and managers who “generally behave like a spoon-banging 2-year-old.”

Yet Daugherty has done just that himself in the past. In fact, “pass” is an interesting word for Daugherty to choose, since that’s how he described his reaction (“easy for me to give him a pass”) to Bryan Price’s profanity-rich tirade in April.

Maybe we should forgive Paul Daugherty for not remembering what he wrote all of five months ago. But just five weeks ago, August 3, when the Reds had a bench clearing brawl with the Pirates, he celebrated certain Cincinnati players for showing their passion, especially one who got thrown out of the game. Daugherty praised the “pride and professionalism” of the players who were willing to go on the field and “punch it out.” Daugherty wrote:

“It’s nice to see players in a disappointing season that was recently lessened by two major trades at least give the impression that their spirit is still in the game.”

Daugherty singled out “that guy, right there, Number Nine. Marlon Byrd” for bravery in battle, even though Byrd got thrown out. What, no criticism toward Byrd for “removing himself” from the game? (It’s also worth nothing that Joey Votto himself was one of the leaders out on the field that day with Byrd. He was the other Reds player who was thrown out. Paul Daugherty, for some reason, couldn’t bring himself to include Votto in the praise, or even a mention.)

To review for those keeping score at home: When Bryan Price loses control and acts in a way that would get you fired at your job Paul Daugherty gives him a pass. When Marlon Byrd gets thrown out of a game for instigating a fight it’s evidence to Paul Daugherty that Byrd cares.

But when Joey Votto shows passion for playing – remember, he was mad about getting thrown out of the game – when Votto shows that he still cares about the outcome of a meaningless game, Paul Daugherty becomes the strict schoolmarm with a ruler. One who always has her eye on a particular student she doesn’t like.

In an otherwise brutal year for Reds fans, Votto has been a source of pride. Votto wants to play every inning of every game and plays hard when he’s out there. He’s not perfect, but what professional athlete – or any of the rest of us – is? Votto is the kind of role model we should hope for in our sports superstars. Baseball fans should be celebrating Joey Votto and his intensity.

And the nations’ great sportswriters are. Joe Posnanski compared Votto to Ted Williams. Richard Justice called Votto one of baseball’s greatest and most consistent performers. Jeff Sullivan says Votto is playing like an MVP.

But not Paul Daugherty. He cranks up his tired, sad Joey Votto outrage machine and spits out a load of nonsense. The hypocrisy in his writing lays bare his bias and lack of objectivity.

To borrow preachy judgment from a writer with whom Daugherty is quite familiar: That’s unacceptable.

95 thoughts on “The unacceptable Paul Daugherty

    • ya i agree with the paul doc stuff but i still think the stuff people say about marty is unfair anyone who has heard his entire quote knows its not what people make it out to be not even close all he says is hes not been the elite votto of old yet and that he still could be in the future but as far as paul doc goes im tired of his being a pirates fan

  1. Not going to dignify Daugherty’s column with a pageview. Sometimes I wonder if he just writes this drivel for the clicks that only outage can provide.

  2. SO very well-said. I’m tired of the bashing of the best player on the field–he’s not perfect, but Votto is doing his job, and doing it better than most!

  3. Faux outrage (and the responses it generates) is all paul has left in the tank.

    As others noted, no reason to give him the page clicks he desires. I would encourage all to refrain from going there to comment, again, it gives him what he wants.

    Better would be a bunch of letters to the paper that explain why nobody will buy or click on the Enquirer until PDoc is sent packing back to where he so clearly belongs, and that’s the Pitts…

    • Continued lack of knowledge at ones job, repeated juvenile mistakes, and an overall general negative attitude…… those are the things that get one fired in a ‘normal’ workplace environment.

      Can someone please tell me how in heck PD is still/was ever employable????

  4. I’ve always liked Doc’s matter of fact articles about the Reds and Bengals, but he really blew it with this one. I don’t know why he has an agenda against Votto, but I do know that Doc has lost a reader in me.

  5. I would like to direct a post to the editors of Redleg Nation:

    Far be it from me to question the site or the content they choose to include, I’m still trying to figure out what the editors are seeking to accomplish by constantly rushing to Joey Votto’s defense every time a public figure criticizes him. Guys like Marty and Daugherty have decided they don’t like Votto for whatever reason and, as is always the case in confirmation bias, they will try to find any reason to justify their dislike even if it requires twisting reality or willfully ignoring it.

    We all know they do this. The question is, why do the editors at RLN feel the need to constantly point this out? We get it, you don’t like public figures who unfairly criticize the poster boy of modern baseball thinking, the face of the Reds’ franchise, who also happens to be one of the greatest players in the game today and quite possible all time. But any time Marty or Daugherty says something outrageous about Votto (such as the “Joey Votto is not paid to walk.”, “Joey Votto is not elite.”, etc) RLN responds with outrage of their own.

    Why?

    Haven’t we all learned that this is an endless cycle, doomed to be repeated? Is it even worth the energy? Nothing that is written on this site is going to change Marty’s or Daugherty’s or anyone’s mind about their dislike of Votto. You can point out every stat under the sky that shows Votto is a transcendental player, but if someone doesn’t like Votto for a personal or emotional reason, stats aren’t going to convince them otherwise. Nothing will. To wit, if the neighborhood kid you like hits a ball into your yard, you laugh and toss it back to him. But if a kid you don’t like does the exact same thing, you refuse to give the ball back, tell that kid to stay off your lawn or else you will call the police with a trespassing complaint. To Marty, Daugherty, and many others, Votto is that second kid. It’s not fair, it’s not justified, but they are entitled to their opinions, however warped they may be.

    What I’m trying to say is, why bother? Why bother defending Votto when, in this situation when faced with this bias, he is indefensible? It’s almost quixotic in its futility. On this site, the majority of us like Votto and revere him for what he is. Why defend Votto to us? The term “Preaching to the choir” comes to mind. We already know Marty, Daugherty et al. are on the wrong side of this argument, nay, the wrong side of history. Anyone who has been paying attention already knows this. Instead of giving credence to their wrong-headed opinions by constantly pointing them out on this site, wouldn’t it be better to just ignore them and let them fade away to the irrelevance that they so rightfully deserve? By posting an article expressing outrage at Daugherty’s opinions, we have given new life to those very opinions. Wouldn’t all of our energies be better spent pursuing other stories and elements of our beloved Cincinnati Reds? The fact that time was actually taken to respond to Daugherty’s absurd bias at all is disheartening.

    My final appeal to the Editors on the great site of Redleg Nation is this: Just like you block trolls on this site, block trolls in real life by not giving their opinions even an inkling of consideration. Ignore them. Don’t waste space on this site with streams of negative rants against these fools. We are better than that, and such drivel isn’t worthy anyone’s time or effort.

    • You say that “we all know” that Paul Daugherty and Marty Brennaman have a bias against Joey Votto. That’s false. New posts bring new readers to the blog (one of our goals!). Not every person who reads this is a regular with hard and fast opinions on everything. By the way, the reason that many people don’t put much value in what Daugherty and the like say is because of people who have exposed the hypocrisy and frailty of their arguments.

      But, for kicks, please provide a list of all the other topics and viewpoints that everyone already agrees on, and we’ll avoid writing about them:

      Even if most people already do agree with the viewpoint, it’s still important to expose their weak reasoning. It’s a marketplace of ideas and their opinions are amplified because of their reach. And this post by Daugherty was something new.

      You lump all the Redleg Nation writers together. Most of us haven’t mentioned the “no longer elite” stuff in weeks. We don’t co-ordinate our editorial viewpoint. (The reason this post ended up as co-authored was happenstance. Mike had the idea for the post and was going to write it. Then it looked like he wouldn’t be able to until Monday, so it wasn’t going to be timely. I wrote a draft. Then Mike found the time [probably had something to do with the rainout at the US Open]. We talked on the phone and it turned out we each had our own angles. I sent my draft to him and he combined them.)

      If you think we (collectively) respond every time Brennaman or Daugherty says something we disagree with you are wrong. I’ve written about Daugherty three times total. I don’t think anyone else at RN has written about him at all until today.

      If you think, as you state, that the purpose of our posts is to change Marty or Daugherty’s mind you are wrong.

      Your claim that writing about Daugherty’s column has “given new life to those very opinions” (wait, I thought everyone had their mind made up) is speculation. If anyone takes the time to read our post, I hope that we’ve written convincingly enough that they won’t adopt the other side’s view. That’s a risk we take.

      Look, if you don’t like the content of one of our posts, just don’t read it. I don’t read Daugherty and I only listen to Brennaman when necessary to hear Jeff Brantley, who I like a lot.

      Do you get how loopy it is to go to someone else’s website and tell them what they should or shouldn’t be writing about?

      We would normally delete comments like this. Our comments section isn’t about what should or shouldn’t be written here. If you disagree with the *content* by all means, disagree. If you disagree with that rule, well that’s tough. Because that’s the site policy and has been for as long as I’ve been around.

      • Steve, I wasn’t telling what to write or what not to write. I was asking an honest question: Is it worthwhile to continue to respond to this criticism when we all know that it’s only a matter of time until the next time Marty or Daugherty or someone else criticizes Votto? Is it worth the energy? To what end? What is your or Mike’s ultimate goal in addressing these opinions? What motivates you to write about them, either in full articles like this or in small bites in the recaps (where it seems like the editors quite often point out Marty or someone else’s basless criticisms of Votto).

        You asked me to “please provide a list of all the other topics and viewpoints that everyone already agrees on, and we’ll avoid writing about them, and the answer is that there are none, because almost all other content on the site is thought-provoking, interesting, fresh, or a new take on things. Ok, there is one: Chapman’s talent being wasted, but that’s not really the point of my post.

        I also get the “If you don’t like it, don’t read it” argument you use, but, as I said, I’m more curious to know why you or anyone else at RLN feels the need to continue to respond to public figures who criticize Joey Votto. As I said in my original post, I’m not here to criticize the content of the site or the content you choose to include, but on this particular topic, I just wonder why you feel it’s worthy of your or anyone else’s time to respond to it.

        • While we love our hard-core regulars like you, we aren’t writing just for regulars. Thousands of people read RN every day. 1200 people have already clicked on this morning’s post. We promote our writing on Twitter – the RN Twitter feed has 25,000 followers. Some percentage of them click over to read posts. What I’m trying to say is that our total readership is much more fluid and heterogenous than your point acknowledges. An issue that might seem settled and obvious to you (and other regulars) might not be for 1000 other readers.

          We’re giving our opinion on a timely event, as did all the other writers whose articles we cited.

          To the group of people who read everything written here and elsewhere, the question of Joey Votto’s approach and value is rightly settled. But it’s undeniable that the campaign of the Brennamen and Daugherty has had enough impact that a significant part of the Reds fan base buys it (listen to the call-in shows, if you can stand it). The Reds have a legitimate superstar player, one of the greatest players in this generation, and there’s all this controversy among fans about his value. In my opinion, that’s a shame.

          The controversy about Votto is perceived nationally. Both the Joe Posnanski and Richard Justice articles actually *mention Paul Daugherty and Marty Brennaman* and their silly arguments. Can you believe that?

          I feel like Mike and I handled the issue with clarity and logic. We tried to avoid cheap shots. Daugherty’s noxious column came to my attention, I read it, and wanted to respond. Even though RN is dwarfed by the reach of the Enquirer sports section (and WLW), Mike and I wanted to get the other side out there.

          And I don’t think we carry a specific, particular brief for Joey Votto. He’s the person who has been receiving the most unfair criticism by the big voices. The most critical post I’ve ever written about something Marty Brennaman said was when I thought he criticized the intelligence of Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier. I’ve also taken on things he’s said about analytics, Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce, to name a few others.

        • I think that Steve nailed it in his reply as to why one would respond to it: A lot of people read the stuff that Daugherty writes and believe it. Some of those people will find this article, though it’s probably not too many.

          The Reds brand is being poisoned by things like this article written by Daugherty. It’s one thing to write things like “Why is Skip Schumaker still getting starts”? That would be a legit question that should be asked and discussed. Instead we get what we got.

          Generally speaking, I think the site exists for the purpose of distributing opinions, but moreso the distribution of knowledge. When someone with a big reach goes out and puts forth terrible information, which is exactly what Daugherty did, it should garner a response of some sort.

          But that’s just my two cents that aren’t worth a penny.

        • It is as worthy to ‘comment on’ as any another Red’s related topic. It goes to the heart of a culture that will not allow this team win in the 21’st century for one.

        • Excellent responses, all.

          You’re right, issues that we “regulars” have more or less come to agreement on from our endless discussion of stats, observations, and research may be completely unheard of for the uninitiated. When you consider to potential reach of the site, it makes sense that topics that people who come here often would consider to have been “old” or “settled” would be reintroduced, especially when there is a new angle on them such as this Daugherty article.

          It’s pretty mindboggling how this site has grown. I remember when Steve was a commenter who wrote really long, well researched posts, then one day Chad (I think it was?) announced that he had become the newest editors of the site. And now, 25,000 followers on Twitter? Crazy.

          Welcome to this modern world.

          As you were, gentlemen.

      • Absolutely awesome article. Paul Daugherty is a weak writer who does nothing but encourage negativity from his “mobsters”. The Enquirer is nothing but negativity and name calling that promotes childish behavior from most of their subscribers. Instead of writing something useful Mr. Daugherty promotes his book and the art of beer drinking. Just how does a life long Pirate fan become the beat writer of the beloved Reds anyway?

    • To quote Edmund Burke “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    • This is well said. I don’t completely agree, because I feel that if the writers at RLN want to respond to something, then it’s their blog and I won’t criticize what they put on it. But in this instance, I don’t really see the need to defend Votto. On the one hand, I find it entertaining that he loses his mind every now and then. But that doesn’t really make it right, now does it? I won’t criticize Joey for it, because we all go off from time to time. But we shouldn’t really be praising him for it either.

      I”m a huge Votto fan, and I can’t stand Daugherty. But this particular article struck me as pretty benign and one of the most inoffensive things he has ever written about Votto. He praised Votto’s hitting abiltiy and knowledge of the strike zone. He said that the umpire was wrong. And he said that Votto was wrong when he went crazy. Yes, it is completely at odds with his earlier criticisms about Votto mailing it in. But the “mailing it in” criticism was the opinion that was stupid. Roast him for that.

      Finally, in continuing to go after these guys, I think you risk doing the very thing you are criticizing them for: losing your objectivity. I know RLN doesn’t claim to be objective, but if you go after somebody without really listening to what they said, then you are not that much different than Paul and Marty when they criticize Votto no matter what he does.

        • Well written TCT. I would argue that all parties involved have a right to criticize whomever they please. They just need to understand there will be discussion and review of their comments. This site is a site of evaluation and thought. If they can’t comment on any and all things Reds related than we wouldn’t be here.

  6. Since I can’t say a single word about PD without violating pretty much every part of the site’s guidelines, I’ll pose a question. Could you imagine a lineup of 9 Vottos? Good luck getting them out 27 times. MLB thinks games are long now.

    • A lineup of 9 Vottos would have an .825 win percentage. That would be a 134-28 record over a whole year.

      Baseball Reference has a stat called Offensive Win %, and I believe it measures the win rate of a theoretical team with 9 of that player (given average pitching and defense).

      Votto is only surpassed by, of course, Bryce Harper.

      • That makes me think of one of my favorite fangraphs articles titled: “Dangerous Experiement: A Roster of 25 Adam Dunns”

        http://www.fangraphs.com/not/dangerous-experiment-a-roster-of-25-adam-dunns/

        In terms of awards, Dee Gordons won the Gold Glove at every position except center field, which went to Adam Dunn. Koji Uehara won the Cy Young with a 5.7 WAR season, going 22-5 with a 6.11 ERA.And in a mild upset, shortstop Adam D. Dunn won the MVP award over right fielder Adam G. Dunn, who had three more wins above replacement level. The nerds, somehow, lost again.

      • I would hope that the 9 Vottos were 8 Vottos and one fantastic–really fantastic–pitcher, because you wouldn’t want to see many balls hit to the Votto who was manning shortstop, centerfield, etc.

  7. Excellent response to that ninkompoop Daugherty. Nothing more than getting some digs and jabs in to Joey Votto. A straight up drive-by hit piece.
    Daugherty has no journalism integrity. Why the Enquirer still employs him is a mystery of Scooby-Doo proportions.

  8. I have thought for a while now that Daugherty has come across as the kid no one is paying attention to who just tries to spout nonsense louder and louder. He is in a dying media and his credibility has been destroyed these past couple of years. He just wants to keep his job.

  9. I actually agree with Daugherty’s column this one time. I’m constantly amazed that anyone tolerates a grown, adult man screaming, spitting, and cursing in public. Mostly, I’m thinking about coaches – Knight, Huggins, Harbaugh, whomever.

    But this article is 100% right in pointing out the ludicrous hypocrisy here. As for Marlon Byrd, Daugherty loves the guy for helping the 2013 Pirates (Doc’s favorite team) make the playoffs.

    • Why do we have a Pirate fan that causes nothing but grief for the Reds best players as the Reds beat writer anyway. I get that everyone has a right to be a fan, and work in another city. 2+2 does equal 4 right?

      • To be fair, he’s not a beat writer, he’s the Sports Opinion/Feature writer. And while I tend to think the Pirate fandom is overblown by some of his critics, it’s frustrating to see him criticize one of the very few things going right with the Reds. I tend to think if I were an opinion writer, and I wanted a new angle to criticize on the Reds, there’d still be plenty of unmined opportunity. “Things the Reds have done wrong” is a BIG target. How can someone so often miss it?

        • Because he is mentally lazy. P-Doc trades on sentiment and telling it like it “never was”. He finds it easier to yearn for a mythical era I’d baseball when the game was played the “right way” and only ‘clutch’ hitters were great. Votto is gentleman and is passionate about fairness and consistency, two qualities that Daugherty is not acquainted with.

      • If i could like your comment Redleg I would sit at my keyboard all day and do it.

    • 1. The “spitting” wasn’t really spitting. Some saliva may or may not have come out of Votto’s mouth when he was speaking. Not really the same thing as spitting in someone’s face. It’s unfair to Votto to say he was spitting on him as whatever happened is clearly accidental and unintentional.

      2. Not everyone has the same values. To some, words are just a way to express a feeling and they do not assign moral values to words. In fact, the market would say that not only do adults tolerate grown men (as well as grown women) screaming and cursing but pay a good chunk of their money to do so. How many movies are filled with “cursing”? Every avenue in the entertainment business, music, comedy, film, television, sports and so on is filled with such words, often times being screamed.

      3. Votto’s tirade may be the most entertaining thing that happens in a Reds game this September. We should enjoy it.

    • You must not be a football fan. What Votto did is significantly more tame in societal terms to what a linebacker does to a blind-sided quarterback. And we, as Americans, praise the football violence.

  10. Remember how sour he was on Griffey during his 1st year in Cincinnati? That spring/summer was my introduction to Daugherty. His Griffey pieces reeked of the the jilted autograph hound that couldn’t let it go. From that impression, these Votto pieces don’t surprise me in the least. Dude’s a clown.

  11. Thanks for addressing Daugherty’s article. I stopped reading him years ago and didn’t want to get sucked back in for curiosity’s sake. He does Reds fans a disservice with his moral preening backed only by ignorance.

  12. I miss Daugherty’s predecessor at the Enquirer, Tim Sullivan, who got away to San Diego.

  13. I read the article and disagreed with it’s flawed premise….that a baseball field should have the same standards of decorum as a normal workplace…it’s not the break room at the tire store. ….but didn’t read it as an attack on Votto the person, but a disagreement with Votto’s actions.

    He’s an editorialist. His job is to express opinions. I’ve read more damming, subjective attacks on Bryan Price, Dusty, Jay Bruce, Jocketyy and Bailey on this blog than what PD wrote about Votto. Like most PD pieces, there’s an element of fact surrounded by a pile of opinion.

    Dissent is good. It challenges assumptions and fosters debate. Book burning hasn’t been in style since Footloose.

    The guy equated how one acts on the field to how you should act at a real job. It’s not a real job…..kroger doesn’t let employees scream at the managers and they don’t let us get drunk and boo the cashiers. I disagree with his article, but that doesn’t make his opinion that Votto’s actions were wrong some sort of sports hate crime.

    • “kroger doesn’t let employees scream at the managers and they don’t let us get drunk and boo the cashiers.”

      Just the thought of this had me in tears.

      One good reminder I had while reading this thread was the fact that we do have new readers coming on board at any given time, so some things that might be old to me might be new to others. I appreciate this site, as I have given up on most other outlets for my Reds news. I used to have fairly frequent e-mail exchanges with PDoc many years ago, and one thing I found is that he was fairly mild in personal responses, and often willing to concede points; but it was rare that would come forward in his public writings. I had the impression then he was going for sensationalism. Since he has been around the Cinci sports scene for a long time, he does carry some interesting perspectives that I do not have, but I have found myself distancing myself more and more from him and other sports opinion guys in favor of blogs such as this. I think my feelings are pretty common, so some pundits like Doc may even get a little more outrageous in their opinions to stay relevant.

  14. I don’t live in Cincinnati and don’t see or seek out the Enquirer or Daugherty. My Reds news comes from watching games on FSN, this site, the official Reds site, and ESPN. I don’t think Daugherty is worth the energy it took to write this response, but I get why it was written and wouldn’t discourage that response in any way. To me the comment about “poisoning the Reds brand” is most on point, and it does make me wonder why Daugherty would write what he did, and why the Enquirer would continue to print him if he’s regularly so derogatory. But in the end, I’m going back to watching the games, rooting for the Reds, considering the analysis, and most enjoyable of all, watching Joey Votto master an almost impossible craft. It’s been a joy to follow his development and success, and like many before him, especially Johnny Bench and Barry Larkin, I am thrilled that Joey Votto is a Cincinnati Red. Can’t wait for the first pitch tonight.

    • I don’t really buy the whole “poisoning the Reds brand” thing. Yes, Paul does influence some of our less informed fans. But I don’t buy that he, or Marty for that matter, has any influence on the front office and the decisions that they make. If they wanted to, the front office could easily dispel some of these ignorant opinions about Votto. But they don’t. The problem isn’t that Marty and Paul believe this stuff, it’s that the front office in general seems to share their opinions.

      If Andrew Friedman suddenly decided he couldn’t stand sunny LA and came here to be the new GM, would he suddenly become a dumb GM just by being in the same environment with Marty and Paul? Of course not. The problem with the “Reds brand” isn’t the media members who are ill informed. It’s the ill informed front office that passively supports these opinions, and regularly makes pretty bad personnel decisions.

      • Yeah, I tend to agree. The organization, as a whole, tends to lean more towards agreement than they should with Paul, Marty, and others of their ilk.

        • Let’s assume that Fox News serves as Murdoch’s weapon of tarnishment. Since it’s inception, the D’s have won 3 of 5 presidential elections and Joe Paterno left office more popular than Bush.

          The area served by the New York Post has become increasinly less republican since he took over. The Wall Steet Journal Editorial page isn’t exactly the Dailey Worker and Obama won twice.

          Could you offer any examples of Murdoch changing anyone’s mind on anything?

        • Your post makes no sense to me, Chuck.

          I have an opinion that the front office tends to agree with folks like the aforementioned more than they ought to.

          I’m not sure why Rupert Murdoch’s ability or inability to convince people of things has any bearing.

    • No outside force can poison a brand if the facts are inconsistent with he negativity being espoused.

      I could buy a radio station, a newspaper and every billboard in St. Louis and devote my life to anti-Cardinal propaganda…. if they keep winning and aren’t involved in dog fighting or child abuse then no one’s opinion would be changed. Same for the Steelers, Packers, Yankees etc.

      PD can’t tarnish the Reds brand. Only the Reds can tarnish the Reds brand. Roughly 40 years of mediocrity mixed in with other things ( Marge, Rose banishment , lost decade etc.) have tarnished the brand.

      If a Cincinnati writer in 1976 wrote one negative thing after another he would be laughed at and ignored as the brand was pristine. Blaming a writer for tarnishing the Reds brand is like blaming a food critic for hurting the business of a bad restaurant.

      • That is not true Chuck. If you were Rupert Murdoch and decided to go after the Cardinals brand it would have an effect. He would have tools and resources to succeed. Granted the brand is stronger than the Reds at this time, but not immune.

  15. A question for the editors (since you mentioned page clicks):

    What is the most read (or most clicked-on) piece you guys have run this year?

    • 1. Open Letter to Mr. Castellini – 12,000 views.

      2. Devin Mesoraco’s Tragic Hip – 7,500 views

      • Nice! I hope I directed a few towards your Open Letter. I posted it on Facebook and got a few likes.

  16. This article was well written and exemplifies a dignified response that most of us feel was warranted to Daugherty. I stopped reading him years ago and this article is a prime example of why.

    As for my response on the original episode on the field, I just wonder when baseball is going to wake up and get these umpires under control. As a fan, I come to a game or tune in on TV to watch the great players play the game. Not to watch an umpire cause a scene and try to become the show. The best referees or umpires are the best because they blend in the background and do not try to make themselves the star of the show. This is exactly what Bill Welke did not do the other night. He stole the show from the player because he had an axe to grind with Votto and was in a position of power to do something about it.

    I hope baseball is listening to its fans, and people like Peter Gammons above, and disciplines Welke to show other umpires that this behavior is unacceptable. Now in no way am I condoning rude behavior or physical altercations with umpires, that is just ridiculous that grown men act that way, but baseball please take control of these umpires. Too many times do I turn on sportscenter and see an umpire acting like he invented the game. People pay a lot of money and invest a lot of time into these games, and to see it play out the way it did the other night is a disgrace for baseball.

    • I don’t understand why there isn’t much, if any, criticism of the Reds front office in the Cincinnati Enquirer. If you don’t like Votto (and I think you are ridiculous if you don’t), criticize the front office that signed him to the super long contract. Basically, this front office has failed to build a strong supporting cast around Votto. That’s the problem, not Votto. Why don’t we see more of the writers calling for Jocketty to be replaced and demanding that his replacement focus more on analytics to catch up with the other 3 (and soon to be 4 teams (Brewers are focusing on hiring a more analytics based GM) top teams in the division.

      • The last time that rag criticized anyone was back in 1998 when in asked Mike Brown to step down as Bengals’ GM. The Enquirer, like most newspapers, is fighting for its business life. If they start criticizing the local sports organizations, they’d lose access, and then readership.

      • Daugherty is a big Jocketty fan. The beat writers really can’t because they’re in the clubhouse all the time.

  17. As a free speech absolutist AND a devoted Joey Votto fan, who was also sitting maybe 20 rows behind home plate Wednesday night and watched the entire episode unfold, I think a mountain is being made out of a molehill here. Was the umpire wrong? Yes. Was Votto’s reaction over-the-top? Yes. Had he not been restrained, what was he going to do? Punch Welke? I have to tell you being there, up close, Votto was out of his mind. My theory is Joey is controlled and disciplined about all aspects of his game. He expects everyone else to approach their job with the same attitude. Perhaps that, and the frustration of this season, pushed him to the breaking point? I don’t know? I was embarrassed for him.

    Also, while not taking Doc’s side, I think for those of you who did not click on the article to “show him” might be surprised to read that it also contained this paragraph:

    “These things are true: Joey Rakes knows the strike zone like salt water knows the ocean. He is also among the most polite and generally pleasant athletes I’ve ever been around. It wasn’t that many years ago when Votto would actually ask Reds PR folks if any media needed to speak to him, before he left the clubhouse for the day.

    Votto worked himself from an average 1st baseman into a Gold Glover. His meticulous approach to his hitting craft is well known He has been the diamond in the coal pile this lamentable summer.”

    Yes, Doc is running Joey out of town. Chill people.

    • Yes….it was pure character assassination.

      Votto was rightfully upset, but when you started acting like a Canadian version of Ron Artest you open yourself up to criticism. I still think the premise of the article was wrong but a good chunk of it read like a Reds PR release.

  18. I was surprised given his history he Votto was not suspended more than he was! He has been suspended 3 times, I believe, already this year including bumping an umpire. I see this RLN article and Daugherty’s article as one in the same. Both seem to be agenda driven.

    I will say this. With runners in scoring position, and the game on the line, and I could pick any Red to bat, it would not be Votto.

    • For his career, Votto is hitting .328/.476/.572 with runners in scoring position. In high leverage situations, he has hit .373/.505/.691. For his career! To say that you’d rather have anyone on this team to hit in those situations besides Votto is insane.

      • Insane. Really. Suarez hits better with runners in scoring position than Votto !!!

        • Votto has a .996 OPS this year with RISP. Suarez is at .808. Check you facts. Did you not see his career numbers that I posted? What you are saying is silly.

    • Really? On THIS team? Look, I’m an old school baseball guy, but by whatever method you determine preferences, who the heck else would you pick?

      • TCT, Suarez has a better batting average than Votto with runners in scoring position. I am sure Votto would walk more than Suarez but that does not bring the runner home.

        • This year, on batting average alone, you are correct. Overall though, with RISP, Votto is the guy I’d want at the plate. He’s a lot more likely to drive in more than one of those runners too. Also, for his career, Votto’s batting average w/ RISP is far superior to Suarez’ batting average in total. As the sample size goes up for Suarez, I think you’ll find that his average w/RISP will be lower than Votto’s. Also, coming from a more traditional perspective, Joey Votto is the best hitter on the team. I want my best hitter up at any time, especially with ducks on the pond.

    • Just a difference of opinion. Scot would rather not have Votto up in important situations. I would but only because he has Hall of Fame numbers with people on base for his career.

      • A small handful of Reds players with lower career batting w/RISP:

        Tony Perez
        Joe Morgan
        Johnny Bench
        Pete Rose
        Barry Larkin
        Frank Robinson
        Ted Kluszewski
        Ken Griffey, Jr.

        Okay, maybe two handfuls. I actually triple checked Votto’s numbers to make sure this was accurate: he beat Tony Perez by 44 points over the course of his career.

      • I want the guy who statistically has the best chance of getting the run home. And even with Votto’s second half; that player is Suarez. If the bases were loaded, then I would pick Votto, when a walk would matter.

  19. I don’t get the beef Daughtery and Marty have with Votto. It cannot just be about baseball. Votto is an odd dude. I don’t know anything about his personal life, but I have suspicion it might be one that Marty might make fun of when off air with his crew. And, even if I’m wrong, I have a feeling Marty thinks it. And that, if true, is disgusting. I’m grasping for a logical reason for the continual griping about one of the best baseball players ever (16 on the all-time OPS list). I’m likely wrong but there’s some more here say my spidey senses.

    • I don’t think you can compare Daugherty with Marty here. Marty seems to have formed an opinion about Votto and sees him through this filter. I think Doc is tasked with writing a column three times a week, and a blog entry four times a week and is desperate for content. Which is why, I sometimes thinks he contradicts himself. He is going on an episode by episode basis without a specific agenda. At least, that is how I view it.

  20. They just talked about it on MLB Network, after showing Votto’s explanation video. The question posed to Joe Magrane was, “What do you think of Joey Votto’s explanation?” and he responded “That’s what happens when you try to walk everytime”. Really? Ridiculous. How is he an “expert analyst” Him and Marty and P Doc can hop in a time machine back to 1985.

  21. Daugherty just gave a half-hearted semi-weenie-apology in his blog today. Said, “we were both wrong.”

    • Good catch. Here’s the full text:

      A LAST WORD RE JOEY VOTTO AND YOURS TRULY, IF ANYONE’S INTERESTED. We both overreacted. It was regrettable all the way around.

      Votto’s as sensitive and self-serious a player as I’ve ever covered. I can get a little too flip in This Space at times. Bad combination. His point that he didn’t go nuts until after Welke tossed him – a tirade prompted by what is usually a routine OK for a timeout – was well taken. So was mine, IMO: The best hitter on the planet simply cannot remove himself from the middle of an at-bat. Especially with two on, one out, down two runs in the 8th against a pitcher who was as on the ropes as Tony Watson was.

      We agree to disagree. Neutral corners and all that.

      http://www.cincinnati.com/story/daugherty-blog/2015/09/14/doc-tml-mon/72248808/

  22. Daugherty’s issues come from one or more of of the following: 1)he really does not understand baseball or any sports for that matter and would prefer to review craft beers, music, and hiking trips 2) he resents sports figures who make more money than he does 3) he gives Marty B. too much credit and praise and has accepted Marty B.’s opinion on various Reds players as expert analysis. 4) He is just writing dumb stuff to get page views as this seems to have become Enquirer policy throughout the paper. This direction on how to market the paper probably has its origin at Gannett HQ 5)he has taken a negative position on players and events over the years and does not have the integrity or class to admit he was wrong. 6)he is basically a negative, vindictive person and uses his media job to abuse individuals he does not care for. 7)he is overdue for a change of scenery as he has run out of things to write about in Cincinnati. It is probably time to move to different market. When one begins to be overly sour it is an indication the work has become stale and boring.

Comments are closed.