Game 2 of 4 against the Padres this fine evening. If only we could Brexit this bullpen, amirite? Amirite? Huh?
I’m not rite. Like most natural disasters and flaming heaps of despair, there is nothing amusing about this bullpen. Except when they get this giant trumpeting introduction on the Jumbotron and the crowd reaction is: Ã‚Â ” Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â .”
Tonight’s starting pitchers, Cody Reed and Colin Rea, sound like co-stars in an 80’s movie about amusingly rebellious high schoolers that also involves a ski resort and at least one slow clap. So we’ve got that going for us.
|1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Brandon Phillips (2B)
4. Jay Bruce (RF)
5. Adam Duvall (LF)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Billy Hamilton (CF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Cody Reed (P)
|1. Travis Jankowski (CF)
2. Wil Myers (1B)
3. Matt Kemp (RF)
4. Yangervis Solarte (3B)
5. Melvin Upton Jr. (LF)
6. Derek Norris (C)
7. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
8. Adam Rosales (2B)
9. Colin Rea (P)
DO NOT STARTLE JOEY VOTTOÃ‚Â
My man Joey Votto returns to the lineup tonight after, I am told, barfing up everything he’s eaten since preschool. The ladies don’t necessarily like to think of Joey as such, but it don’t bother me none. He probably puked up the parts of a Mini that cut him off in traffic and the remains of at least two umpires.
Normally I’m drawn to yay-players, morally upstandingÃ‚Â guys who sparkle and fizz with genuine love for the game and the fact they get to play it, every day, for money. Ã‚Â They bubble around the dugout like an Alka-Seltzer dropped into a shaken Champagne bottle– your Sean Caseys, your Brayan Penas. Votto fizzes for no man. He grows a terrifying beard, he vanishes it.Ã‚Â Do not startle Joey Votto. He mightÃ‚Â sit down with the MLB Network dressed like a Mountie. He might rip your kidneys right out. Ã‚Â You never can tell.
The Nibbles interview was particularly outstanding because Joey Votto, when occupyingÃ‚Â the media spotlight,Ã‚Â usually radiates the impression that he’d Ã‚Â very much like to murder everyone within listening distance, up to and including himself. (In a recent interview, his stated long-term goal for this season was, I believe, to not give any more interviews.) When he recently delivered a walk-off victory, he stood peacefully and allowed the dumpation of two buckets of Gatorade– no shoving, no playful running from the shower, no “You GUUUUUUYYYYS!” He stoically accepted his fate as a soon-to-be soaked first baseman.
WhenÃ‚Â he does choose to emote, it is via some extremely un-Canadian yelling, which entertainingly juxtaposes the vulnerability that made me emotionally adopt him in the first place: HisÃ‚Â battle with grief, anxiety and depression in the wake of his father’s death in 2009. This is a complex person, a highly intelligent man–one member of the Reds media staff told me he saw him on the bus reading a book about brain chemistry while the rest of the team zoned out on various electronic devices–and that, I think, works against him while slumping. Dude lives in his head.
Smarts and strong undercurrents of emotion aren’t part of the box score, but they are part of the baseball story. I like reading The Constantly Unfolding Tale of Votto the Mighty.
|ERA||IP||SO||WHIP||HOW WOULD HE HAVE FARED IN THE 1980’s?|
|Cody Reed||5.14||7.0||9||1.29||Probably one of those guys who hovered over your game of Pac-Man and laid quarters on the window of the machine and distracted you right after you went into the tunnel|
|Colin Rea||5.02||71.2||54||1.36||As a totally tubular entity|
A THING FROM TWITTER
When the press refuses to dig in and tell the people what they really need to know
Ritz? Townhouse? Club? Goldfish?
— John T. Martin (@ECPjohnmartin) June 22, 2016
I wonder how much he hates these.