I made it a point this holiday season to make a trip down to the Reds Hall of Fame while I was in town. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, but have lived in Cleveland over the last three years. I have started visiting more MLB stadiums recently, and it is simply incredible how vastly inferior other clubs’ halls of fame compare to the Reds. The Reds operation is top notch.


The Reds Hall of Fame this year feels more like the Pete Rose Hall of Fame with some other Reds sprinkled in. There is always lot of Pete in the Hall, but this year even more with Pete being inducted in June. That is great. There are many Reds fans who love Pete, and for them to be able to soak in that history is terrific.

I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way: I don’t like Pete Rose. However, that wasn’t always the case. While I never watched Pete Rose play live, I was instructed to worship the ground that Pete walked on….and I did just that for a long time. The older I got, the more I realized that Pete did cheat baseball, was a compulsive liar, and I simply could no longer blindly love #14.  I always say to those who can’t believe my stance on Rose “what would you think of Rose if he played the bulk of his career for the Cardinals?”

I still completely appreciate Pete’s accomplishments on the field, but his actions off the field have made me wish he would just go away and stop embarrassing the Reds. Those are just my thoughts, and I understand and respect that many will strongly disagree with that. I just wanted to preface this post with that.

Back to my Reds Hall of Fame visit. We are getting to the end of our wonderful visit. I am talking with one of the Reds HOF staff, who was very friendly and seemed to enjoy talking baseball. I mentioned how I think Reggie Sanders deserves to be in the Reds HOF. A different Reds HOF employee decided to jump in our conversation and rain on that parade. That employee then somehow, someway decided to for no reason tell me how terrible of a person Joey Votto is. He tells me and my group this ridiculous story about how Votto treated fans wrongly, and then goes into how terrible he believes Votto’s contract is. I tried to defend my hero, but I quickly moved on.

This example is far from the only loud Votto detractor that we regularly hear. It isn’t just casual fans either. There have been paid writers and broadcasters unfairly critical of the Reds first baseman. Which is actually very difficult to believe. Votto is coming off back to back seasons where he not only finished in the top 2 each year in wRC+ (lead the NL in 2016), but also finished third and seventh in the MVP vote.

This made me think of something that I’ve thought of many times before: how can Reds fans and media types worship Pete Rose, but hate Joey Votto?

Pete Rose was a poor man’s Joey Votto.

I’ll start with the cold hard statistics. Let’s look at Joey Votto’s first full 9 MLB seasons vs Pete Rose (I didn’t include Votto’s 2007 stats because he only played in 24 games, but Votto did hit .321/.360/.548 that season; Rose played a 157 games in his first year in 1963, so his first 9 full seasons start right away).


I don’t get it.

I’ll get this out of the way too. Yes, Rose had more hits (1724 to 1380). If you want to make that your lone basis of evaluation on base hits and ignore home runs, runs batted in, average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, be my guest.

This isn’t to take away from Pete Rose or his career. He had 126 wRC+ and .371 OBP over his first nine seasons, which is really good. Another thing that made Rose so valuable was his position flexibility. Rose famously moving from LF to 3B in 1975 put a huge bat in George Foster in the lineup.

Votto surely will not age the way that Rose did. Rose was a one of a kind in that regard. The longevity of Rose’s career is remarkable and a major part of what made him so great. But, from the only numbers that we have of Votto now against Rose over the same career time-frame, there is no debate that Votto has been a much better hitter. One insane stat is that Votto has had an OPS of .900+ in 7 of his 9 full seasons. In Pete Rose entire 24 year career he did that just once (.940 in 1969), and was never close again (next highest .861 in 1968).

If you are thinking about Joey Votto’s contract, just remember that Pete Rose became the highest paid player in baseball in 1978. Joey Votto was the 24th highest paid MLB player in 2016.

This might get taken by some as an anti-Rose post, but I assure you that was not my intent. I just simply want to point out that I don’t find it justifiable to criticize Votto for his performance as a Red if you are going to continue to worship Rose. You can certainly appreciate both, and you should, but in my humble opinion you can’t appreciate Rose without appreciating Votto.

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 125 Comments

  1. Don’t know why I feel the need to point this out, but it is “halls of fame” not “hall of fame,s” (or hall of fames would be ok). Also, just a typo but Rose moved from left field to 3B, not vice versa. Not trying to be a jerk, I love this site and check multiple times every day hoping to find something new posted.

  2. I would like to hear more about the comments that the Reds Hall of Fame employee made. Also, this group that you were in sounds amazing!

    • He told a story about Votto being bad to some fans (I’ll leave it at that). True or not, a Reds employee talking bad about their highest paid player in public is a terrible look for the organization. This is why many of us get so upset at Marty’s negative comments because this is the narrative it creates.

  3. Part of it, I think is age. Many of the Rose apologists saw Rose when they were kids. And of course, nothing today is as good ad it was when you were a kid in many people’s minds.

    Part of it is personality. Rose was considered scrappy and fiery. Votto is thoughtful and introspective. Many people dont want that in their athletes. They want guys who will run through walls to win and will spout meaningless cliches afterwards. Because Joey isn’t running with his helmet flying off or bowling over a catcher in the All Star game, it appears to these shallow people that he isn’t trying hard enough.

    And part of it is probably championships. Pete has them and Joey doesn’t.

    • There is a category of fans – I count myself as one of them – for whom this isn’t either-or. I grew up during the BRM Era and, like most of the kids in Cincinnati, wanted to play like Pete. I love Pete the player. I don’t like or respect the post-player Pete. I have no trouble separating those two things.

      I also love Joey Votto the player.

      • That’s where I’m at too Steve.

      • Exactly. Different players from different eras. Does make me wonder what Joeys numbers would look like and what his reception would be if he was surrounded by another 7 guys with legit HOF candidicies . everyone loves a winner. Words like “standoffish” are replaced with “thoughtful and unassuming”. The difference between dugout “discord” and “vibrant chemistry” often lies solely with the season record.

      • Well put. Both are great players. Another thing about Rose is that he very seldom missed playing time due to injury or anything else over his career. That is a huge plus for me.

      • Ditto Steve. I wanted to be Rose, the running walk, the hustle the dirty uniform. I also wanted to be Little Joe and Concepcion and Bench.

        I have been talking about how Johnny Bench is right, Rose broke a cardinal rule posted in every clubhouse, he shouldn’t be in the MLB HOF if I am to also not want PED users in (and I don’t), I can’t want Rose in.

        Rose was a very good (not quite great) player for 20+ years and that is VERY rare. He also brought energy and consistency to the BRM.

        Rose since his playing days has been one big bag of disgusting, from his gambling, lack of remorse, lying, statements and attitude, the moments where you actually feel FOR him are few and far between. HE could have come clean, shed a tear and begged for forgiveness back in late 80s and would have been forgiven in short order, he chose to double-down on denial and attitude and lost any chance of MLB HOF or re-instatement, as it should be. I just hope the PED users that got better after 35 are not let in… just sends an awful message. I get the proof is shaky, but we all but know who did PEDs that ALSO garnered stats that make them, normally, HOF-worthy.

  4. Ok Nick, now you’ve gone and done it! This comments section should be, um, interesting to say the least.

    I think a lot of fan angst about Votto and near worship of Rose come down to a few details. One, Rose was part of the Big Red Machine and as such helped the team win World Series Championships. Not Votto’s fault the Reds haven’t won a playoff series while he’s been here but to a lot of fans those WS wins carry a ton of weight.

    Next, Rose being the highest paid player in the game was a lot of money at the time but the financial landscape of the game has changed and the money paid to Votto, even if it isn’t nearly the most in the game, is still an overwhelming salary for the average person to think of. Add in the perception, however correct or not, that Votto got his contract to hit HR and drive in runs and that Rose was paid to get hits and be a table-setter. The average fan doesn’t see table-setters pulling down Votto money. They see power guys doing it. Of course guys like Justin Turner and Dexter Fowler, both very good players but not great players are now making over $16-million a year. Not Votto money but we’re getting in the neighborhood.

    Then there is the fact that Rose was local, whereas Votto is from Canada. There are the hustle and grit factors and Rose’s emotions, which were rarely criticized here in Cincy. Votto was seen as not having a fire in his belly by many fans but then seems to be called out when he does show emotion. Along those same lines, there seems to be some media bias against Votto, especially when it comes to the Cincinnati beloved Marty Brenneman and his wide reach and big voice. When Marty speaks, people listen and I think he’s badly hurt Joe Fan’s view of Votto because Marty, quite frankly, doesn’t like him. Rose as far as I recall, never had anyone in the local media so opposed to him, especially someone with such respect from the average fan.

    So, while I love Rose the player, I also love Votto the player. The thing is, a lot of folks, for the above reasons and reasons of their own don’t see things this way. You and I may never get it but it is what it is and no amount of argument to the contrary is likely to change many people’s mind. It’s an emotional issue and emotions often defy logic.

    • I remember when Rose boasted that he would become the first $100,000 singles hitter. When he signed with the Phillies, I believe it was for $900,000…not his best offer. He wanted to play for a contender and indeed helped them over the top, much like Morgan helped the Reds over the top. Believe me, $100,000 back then still seemed like an unthinkable amount of money.

    • Oh c’mon LW….don’t you even smile a little bit when Marty says “Coming to the plate is Joey Votto who’s trying to lead the universe in walks?? ” That gets a chuckle from me every time …y’all need to give MB a break,all the losing Reds teams he’s watched over the years,you might be a bit cranky too 🙂

      • His comments like that are meant to poison the fan base against Joey Votto, in my opinion. It seems pretty clear to me; Marty does not like Joey as a player or a person, nor does he appreciate that he’s watching a once-in-a-lifetime talent.

        It’s really, really hard to me to give Marty a pass when he has that particular podium to preach from.

        And this is coming from a guy who, 25 some-odd years ago, spent most of a Cincy-to-Florida flight working up the courage to walk up two rows on a Delta flight to ask Marty for his autograph. (He was happy to do it for me.)

        • Nooo….I listen to MB just about every game and believe me he doesn’t single out Votto for criticism,sooner or later just about every player,GM,hot dog vendor 🙂 ,etc gets a little acid from Marty.So what it’s the guys nature and I appreciate his honestly,I don’t want to to sugar coat it for me.There are a boat load of fans here who need to understand JV isn’t a baseball god,he’s not above reproach.And pointing out a player’s flaws is what fans (and some radio broadcasters) do….too many people take it as some kind of personal slap and it’s not.It’s looking past that haze of emotional and evaluating what a player does or doesn’t contribute…

        • Except MB isn’t being honest. He’s telling it like it isn’t and just spouting his venomous opinions. It gets old and it has been detrimental to fans’ experiences. They’re getting misinformation and negativity.

        • So here we have a HOF announcer…been broadcasting Red’s games since 1974,saw Hank Aaron hit number 714,Pete Rose’s 4192,Tom Browning’s perfect game….all the BRM years and 1990 WS win….knows all these players personally.Seen 1000’s of baseball games not on TV but there in that stadium…..years and years and years of first hand experience and you know more about this game than Marty Freakin’ Brennaman….really? Damn…I am impressed 🙂

        • Marty is a part of Reds history and a hall of fame announcer…For many older Reds fans….He is intertwined emotionally with championship memories of days gone past, when radio was the platform for Reds fans to enjoy their favorite team….Much like Pete…I have no problem separating his contributions to the game….With his flaws…..You have to admit…..”Another bonehead play by Lenny Harris” is pretty amusing and pretty accurate.

        • Marty evidently points out some flaws that aren’t flaws, though. Like Votto being selective and, as a result, drawing walks (getting on base) frequently. Some old dogs learn new tricks, and some don’t. It wouldn’t matter if he didn’t have such a large forum.

        • Marty Brennamen was obnoxious on the Reds Hot Stove league last night, yelling at and ultimately hanging up on a caller defendingJoey Votto earning his contract. I was stunned listening to the venom spewing from MB. I no longer will support or defend Marty Brennamen. He needs to go.

        • I missed HSL last nite but found a podcast…I pretty much agree with what MB said but hated hearing him rag on Scott from Cincinnati,that really wasn’t called for.The 2 minutes or so before the rant both Marty and Keltch had good things to say about Votto but things went south when JV’s contract was brought up.MB has gotten more testy last few seasons he needs to tone it down a bit.And kudos to Jeff Brantley…there are times I wonder how he does it 🙂

    • Agree with all of the above and would add that a talent for self-promotion can take a person far, even though it probably shouldn’t. I admire Votto and see the evidence of his fire in his Zen-like focus on hitting. The BRM was the greatest era in Cincy baseball, and that fact alone–as others have mentioned–skews one’s perceptions of the players.

    • True. The 75 and 76 Reds are in the conversation (along with the 27 Yankees and several other teams)for the best MLB team of all time. Rose was the spark plug for those teams. That in itself helps propel Rose. Through no fault of his own, Votto thus far hasn’t been fortunate enough to be able to capitalize on those types of assets.

  5. I don’t agree with your stance on not liking Rose bcuz of his transgressions bcuz I believe in forgiveness. There are more serious issues going on in the world and probably even in MLB itself. I know it’s a lifetime ban, but it’s been long enough imo as far as hall eligibility goes. The HOF has it’s own standards for eligibility and one of those is what’s keeping Rose out. But I think that’s wrong bcuz HOF eligibility should be based solely upon a players accomplishments on the field. If anything Rose’s gambling made him play harder which, in turn, probably helped his team(s) win. Is it ideal, no! Do I wish Rose had not done what he did, yes! But at some point forgiveness has to come into play. I’m afraid that points gonna come long after his death bcuz I would like for it to come while he’s alive so he knows he’s been forgiven by those outside of Cincinnati. But I’m not gonna argue over my viewpoint on Rose, ok, bcuz, what’s the point. But in spite of all that I just said, I do agree with your overall point of the article. Votto is and always will be one of my favorite all-time Reds and any of his perceived transgressions by fans, of course, don’t measure up to what Rose did. So yeah, people need to lay off of Votto. Live in the present and enjoy the ride Votto’s giving us and quit worrying about the future!

    • I have forgiven the drunk driver who killed my best friend but I don’t like her and never will. In my opinion, forgiving someone doesn’t equate to “liking” them once you have “forgiven” their transgressions. I appreciate the player Rose was but his off-field behavior soured me on ever viewing him anywhere near the way I did when I was younger.

      • Jazzmanbbfan, I’m not asking you to forgive Pete to start “liking” him. Just forgive him enough to want him in the hof based upon his on-field work. Nothing else.

        • Sandman, that was all up to Pete. He did everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, wrong since he started gambling on baseball.

          He broke cardinal rule and gambled on baseball
          He got caught
          He chose a lifetime ban (did get an option if he came clean)
          He denied the deed itself, over and over
          He kept up a nasty attitude, as if he were some victim
          He finally came clean, but even that appeared to be less-than-sincere apology, more about trying to get in HOF… like a politician pandering.
          He even uses HOF week as his personal piggy bank and attention show (which MLB has tried to dissuade), which I guess is just business, but hardly stuff of someone trying to ingratiate himself to the masses.

          I loved Pete the player, but Pete the person would have made me sick from day one.

  6. Votto is just a private guy and introvert, most people don’t get it. If he was on twitter and making flashy plays like BP then everyone would love him. Of course if he won a few World Series then none of that would matter. With a $20 million contract he is going to take the brunt of the criticism for the Reds losing from the average person.

    The first time I met him was awkward, when I met BP and Bruce they actually carried on conversations. I didn’t hold it against him, I just assumed he didn’t enjoy being paraded around and asked for an autograph every five seconds by all of the Redsfest sponsors

  7. Here is where I leave the baseball herd….I don’t love (or hate) Pete Rose…or Joey Votto….or Yadi Molina….Jose Conseco or any player that comes to mind.These guys are pieces on a chessboard to me,players who are paid to do a job. I won’t be the guy at GABP with a Brandon Phillips jersey on ( maybe a grease stained tee-shirt 🙂 ….but some kind of misplaced hero worship just isn’t in my personality.But….Pete Rose lost me last ASG when he and MLB couldn’t come to an agreement over how much participation Pete would have in that event….seemed obvious to me MLB still thinks Pete isn’t being truthful and Rose just wouldn’t come clean so mentally I cut ties with the guy,enough is enough already have some consideration for your fans Pete Rose and just come clean.But the same personality traits that made Rose such a kick ass player…that determination and that competitiveness that in-your-face attitude are same traits that brought him down.Pete’s life could have been some kinda weird Greek tragedy….the guy who would “walk thru Hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball” got himself a lifetime ban by breaking the one rule you can’t break.You just can’t make this kinda stuff up….

    • I agree with what you’re saying about not hero-worshiping players. Don’t ever let yourself get to the spot where you take personally what a player/coach does outside of baseball or after they’ve left the game.

      The issue with Pete’s reinstatement last year was simple. When MLB interviewed Pete, it was clear that Pete hasn’t given up gambling. There’s no way MLB will or should let Rose back into baseball in any capacity given that. But they drew a line and said – we’re not going to let him be hired for a future job, but if you want to honor his baseball days, go ahead.

      • I was a fan in that time period.Such a waste…I will forever be convinced if Rose had just admitted what he did and worked with Bart Giamatti and MLB that they could have negotiated something out besides a lifetime ban…..Rose just bet on baseball for goodness sake,he wasn’t an axe murderer.Heck had they gotten some type of compromise worked out,PR could be manager of Reds today…

        • All he had to do was come clean, shed a tear during an apology and this would have been over 25 years ago. I recall reading he had an option, a one-year ban and then able to apply for re-instatement (not a guarantee) or a lifetime ban and no admittance of guilt. Had he come clean, and taken the lesser ban (and then STOPPED gambling), he’d have been re-instated with some conditions, of that I am certain.

      • I’m far from the first to raise this issue, but doesn’t it seem likely that Pete is a gambling addict? Mental illness changes the context, though I’m not diagnosing him.

        • That is a given…he is an addict. He is doing something that has wrecked his legacy and career…and continues to do it. Not unlike a heroin addict, meth user or alcoholic.

  8. Really enjoyed this article Nick. Well done. I grew up a huge fan of Pete and was heartbroken when he did what he did to the game. I’m also a huge Votto fan and have never agreed with his detractors.

    One thing that I think should be pointed out is that Pete constantly sings the praises of Joey. He consistently refers to him as one of the best hitters in the game, and I think he’s said flat out that he’s the best hitter in the NL. Heck, I thought he might slug Frank Thomas right on the Fox set when Thomas refused to see the greatness that is Votto.

    One would think that if people love Pete, that they would listen to him when he says Votto is among the elite hitters in the game.

    • This is a really great point to bring up. That is one of the few things I really like about Rose. It would have been very easy for him to jump on the Votto hate bandwagon, saying in my day you were taught to hit not walk.

    • I expect that, had Pete slugged Frank Thomas, the discussion of his baseball future would be moot.

      • That would have been something to see!

      • I don’t think I’d like to tangle with either of them. Rose would probably just keep coming at you no matter what you did to him and Thomas is just a big, strong, guy who would probably hit you so hard you couldn’t remember your name.

  9. Great article, I grew up in the 60’s and my grandfather’s favorite player was Pete Rose, he loved the fact that Pete always ran down to firs base on a walk, slid head first and all the other “hustle plays that Pete made. I liked Pete as well especially that he a part of that great winning team of the 70’s. It was hard t accept the fact that he bet on baseball, but the raw evidence is there, but I still love the player Pete was. I like the player Joey Votto as well, I did not like the way he talked to fans in other stadiums, so I don’t know, maybe he can be a jerk, but I still like the player and what brings to the Reds. I think most of us should be old enough to separate the player from the person.

  10. When Pete Rose emerged onto the MLB scene I was an early years teenager and avid Reds fan. Somehow though, I missed out on being bitten by the Pete Rose idol for life come what may bug. My DNA says I’m whitebread European; but I tended to favor players of color and latinos, Robby, Vada Pinson, TonyP, Leo Cardenas et al. And maybe above all despite him being in an “enemy” uniform, Roberto Clemente.

    However, I always appreciated Rose’s hustle and that he seemed to get more out of less despite the fact he was not a favorite.

    In the BRM era which was essentially Rose’s second act, I was of course a sold out on Bench guy in the Bench/ Rose popularity derby; and, I marveled at the fact that in conservative Cincinnati, six of the “regular eight” were men of color.

    However, one thing to Pete Rose’s favor which did not really come to public light until years later was that in the 1960’s and 70’s, he was essentially color blind or perhaps better put, color neutral in an era when much of the country and baseball was not.

    Now, I’m feeling a lot like Nick. I just wish all the Rose fixation would go away. MLB has made it clear that as long as Rose is not on the field being directly paid by a team, he can be part of the game. As to the HoF, I do wish he could be considered for membership based solely on his playing days; but that seems unlikely to happen in his lifetime. Rose seems to have come to terms with this status, it would be nice if fandom could follow his lead.

    • You and I from same time period Jim…I have a Ted Williams autographed Sears and Robuck fielders glove (doesn’t everybody? ) circa 1965 in my basement and on back of 3 of the fingers written with an ink pen are the names Pete Rose,Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson.And as I played second base on school team I was drawn to Pete Rose like a magnet….he was my guy.What a senseless way to end a career….

  11. Nice discussion. I watched Pete play. I like others here separate his gambling from his sports career when assessing my feelings about him. For me, I feel lucky to have seen his whole career, many times on TV or in person. My ‘hero’ worship has to do with his own love of the game, his 110%, his willingness to play any position (I think he may have played them all except center field and short stop). As exciting as his head first slide was, what really got me excited was when he was at the plate in his crouching stance, expecting to see a solid line drive off his bat. I remember him in a batting title contest with Matty Alou in the final day of the ’68 season. Pete finished first, I think going 3 for 3 or 3 for 4. Matty went like 4 for 4, but Pete beat him by .003. Then there was the ’77 WS, when he played half way between 3rd and home against Micky Rivers the whole series.

    • Agreed. And for the record, he played about a half-season in center field in 1969! I can recall a game or two when he was the emergency catcher. And I suspect he would have done it with little hesitation.

  12. P.S. I love Joey too! I think he may be even better than Pete at hitting…he handles the bat like a scalpel. But, I have to say I don’t quite get the same thrill when he’s at the plate. Maybe because the team gives him much fewer chances to be a hero. Maybe because Pete struck out much less.

  13. I grew up in the 70s not missing Reds games. My family had season tickets at Riverfront. I’ve always said there was no better player than Rose in terms of what he was able to achieve statistically over so many years with not nearly the natural skills of most of his peers. But clearly he was not and is not the brightest bulb in the lamp.

    I’ve not been as close geographically to the team in the past 15 years since I have moved out of the area for work purposes. But even so, it is clear that Joey Votto is not good at being social. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except for people naturally expect it of a star athlete. If Votto was as good at being social as LeBron James, his name would be on the lips and mind of every baseball fan from avid to casual. As it stands, most hard-core fans understand he is an all-time talent, but not most casual fans.

    I have never met Votto, but it is my impression from all I have seen and read that his introversion is extreme. I have no idea if he is a good guy or not, but the way he reacts to some of things fans and media say and do is a bit over the edge — like poking the fan who was reaching for a foul ball Votto was trying to catch. And motioning to throw a foul ball to someone in the stands and then pulling it back and not doing it. That’s someone very lacking in social skills.

    The stat lines above were eye-opening. Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. Your key statement is, ” You never saw Rose play”.
    Because if you did,you’d recognize Rose’s spirit as a competitor.
    He NEVER took a night off, a game off,an inning off,or a pitch off.
    Winning was EVERYTHING. Every moment of every game.
    You’ve seen Michael Jordan in a seventh game ?
    Rose played like Jordan every single game of his career.
    Every night was the seventh game of the World Series.
    Great numbers… But doesn’t care if he wins or loses.
    Catcher blocks the plate, Votto gives himself up.
    Votto made a statement, that he’d rather spend his career here, where there’s no pressure to win , than play somewhere else where it’s only about how many rings you earn.
    That’s the difference.

    • We must be watching different games

    • Adam Rosales is always hustling too. Guess we should put him ahead of Votto as well.

    • See here’s what bothers me about Rose: so much of his “hustle” seemed to be for show. I mean, there is nothing wrong with sprinting to first base after a walk. But what does it accomplish? How does wearing your helmet a size or two too big so that it flies off when you run hard help the team win? Its like those morons who slap the court in basketball when they are in their defensive stance. How does that help the team win? Answer: it doesn’t. It just makes you look like you are really playing hard and have a fiery attitude.

      I have watched thousands of Votto at bats. I’ve seen him be overmatched and get fooled occasionally. He is human. It happens. But I have never seen him just give one away. And it is silly to criticize him for not running over a catcher. For the most part, that is illegal these days. And as valuable as Votto is to the Reds, for him to risk injury over one run is incredibly selfish and stupid.

      It just seems like too many people buy into superficial displays of hustle. Not saying that Pete didn’t play hard. He obviously did. But he is not the only guy who has ever played hard. And Joey works really hard too. He is just quiet about it.

      • Oh yeah, Pete’s running to first on a walk was ‘showy’ but i wouldn’t say it didn’t accomplish anything. It was its very showmanship that energized the crowd and the team, and perhaps got inside the head of the pitcher and opposing team. Certainly beats the infantile dances football players now do in the end zone. The helmet flying off perhaps was a hair issue…it certainly is for Bryce Harper who gets the same publicity for running from under his helmet.

    • Ryan Freel was a competitor….so was Brad
      ” The Animal” Leslie. They both sucked.

      By almost every statistical measure, Votto is a better player than Rose. For most of Rose’s career he was the least dangerous player in the top 6 slots in the lineup. He had no power so he saw fastball after fastball. No one pitched around Pete Rose to get to Joe Morgan. Much of Rose’s success was a reflection of what surrounded him. Votto’s success has occurred despite the team that surrounds him.

      Rose was obsessed with winning…..unless he had an unfavorable pitching match up and decided to wager more at the dog track that night on none on the Reds.

  15. I like some of the comments on here, especially the one’s that are saying that we should be mature enough to separate the man from the player. If you can do that, then you should be able to just look at the numbers a player (Pete) puts up. Pete’s numbers clearly scream HOF. But the HOF itself has that one rule (maybe more, I don’t know) that obviously can’t or won’t separate the man from the player. But I think that’s a lot of people’s problem, they get caught up in hero worship. I guess they expect every player to be perfect off the field and on, not giving them any leeway to account for their humanity. But their humanity shouldn’t mar what they do on the field. Like I said before, if anything, Pete’s gambling helped him put up better numbers. But, again, that’s obviously not ideal.

    • I think the big issue is that his off-the-field issues carried over on to the field.

      If he were just a drunk, and drunk himself stupid in his own home, he’d be in the HOF, probably. But, as it turns out, people really care about the integrity of the game and yada yada yada.

      • What about these players who take PED’s. How is that not cheating? So, if MLB/HOF cared about the integrity of the game, then why aren’t those players banned for life? To me, it’s unfair to put all this stuff on Pete if no one’s gonna hold these PED users to the same level/standard. Can’t pick and choose MLB/People. So, if MLB/HOF can still accept and/or forgive these PED users, then they should forgive Pete! There’s no difference imo one way or the other. But I do wish the HOF would forgive Pete and let him in. I think it’s been long enough.

        • PS: The PED users took those substances and in most (if not all) cases, they put up better stats than they had before or after they started /stopped taking them. In my opinion, Pete’s gambling had the same effect, bcuz it’s my belief that his gambling made him more focused and determined and that led to better stats. It may of even made Rose a better player which probably had the added benefit of helping his teams win.

        • Maybe this year you’ll see some of those guys get in and that’s a maybe. So far, as far as I know, the guys everyone knew were using aren’t in the hall.

        • Yeah, what LW said. They are still being black-listed. Maybe that begins to end this year.

          Also, most of the players (with a few big exceptions) were only suspected to have used. Hard to keep a guy out on suspicion alone.

          I agree Pete shouldn’t have been banned from the Hall, but it doesn’t really bother me at this point. He’s shown time and time again that maintaining his hobbies and lifestyle is more important than enshrinement. So, good for him. He knows what he likes and how he wants to live his life and he’s true to himself. But, like I said, I’ll never feel sorry for him not being in the Hall.

  16. deleted my post 3 times before finally deciding to post my opinion here.
    Nick, your logic displays generational bias. In other words, you think because your player that you can see, touch, measure by today’s standards is better than someone from generations ago.
    If Votto were to travel back in time to the same era as Pete Rose the most obvious thing is that Votto’s career would have ended with a leg injury, or in the very least due to a lack of technology hobbled him his remaining years. Secondly, the advancement of not only sports medicine but also training materials available simply equips the modern player like no other generation.
    Votto looks like a ballplayer, chiseled good looks. Solid work ethic, Says all the right things you expect him to excel because out of the box he looks and acts like a star.
    Pete Rose was none of that. Pete lacked the swag, the looks, and the disposition of a super athlete. We watched this very normal looking person go out there and over achieve by the standards of the times and were overwhelmed. We expected nothing and instead of nothing we found ourselves a baseball hero that represented the average fan.

    I suppose you will always have those that want to compare player X,Y, and Z to the Ruth’s, Ryan’s, and Rose’s from days gone by. I think that alone makes them the ones that are a true legend.

    • As stated in my post, I tried to preface my dislike of Rose. I didn’t hide it. The numbers speak for themselves. Votto is literally better in every hitting measure, and it isn’t close. The point of this article wasn’t to bash Rose’ achievements but rather to point out that if you appreciate Rose, it is silly not to appreciate Votto because Votto to this point of his career has been a much better hitter.

      • Nick. How do you know how Pete would perform if he was a young man in 2016? You are assuming Rose’s stats stay flat over all the benefits that Votto has been given.

        • You raise an interesting point, but that wasn’t , I believe, what Nick was saying. He was simply comparing the two players’ numbers. It’s always fun to consider what players from the past would do today, and vice-versa, but ultimately very difficult or impossible. You mention improved medicine and training, but you have to consider things such as pitch velocity, as well. Votto faces pitchers who throw much harder than than the guys Pete faced. A player who is significantly better than his peers is probably a great player in any era.

      • “Votto is literally better in every hitting measure, and it isn’t close”

        Not true. Pete did not strike out and did not walk. Over their career, Votto struck out an average of 128 times per year: Pete 71 times. Pete averaged 194 hits a season: Votto 180. Votto’s walks an average of 110 times per year: Pete 71.

        Pete’s stats are over a 23 year career. Votto has played just 10 years, Votto’s stats, as he gets older, are going to drop fast.

        The difference between Votto and Rose in EVERY other phase of baseball, besides hitting is not even close.

        • Do you believe that walks are a bad thing?

        • How many times you strike out isn’t really relevant to anything…

        • Do you believe that walks are a bad thing?

          Well, they are better than most outs, but less than an out resulting in an RBI.

          How many times you strike out isn’t really relevant to anything…

          That is a ridiculous statement. Truly is. It may be irrelevant in an individual stat line. But in a real team game, in which Votto is “the guy”, it is huge.

        • Strikeouts, as a counting stat by themselves, are truly useless. I don’t know why you think this is ridiculous. Look at the leaderboards for players who don’t strike out much… a bunch of terrible hitters top that leaderboard. That Nori Aoki sure is a barn-burner, eh?

          Taking strikeouts and comparing one player to another without other context has literally zero analytical value.

          Strikeouts are a result of maximizing the risk-reward scenario that happens in each at-bat. If Votto wanted to strike out less, he could. But, he’d probably hit 5-10 homers a year instead of 20+ and run BABIPs around .300 instead of .350.

  17. If you were starting a team, who would you want to play first base- Klu, Perez, or
    Votto? My choice would be Perez, then Klu.

  18. The reds had a lot of really great seasons with Pete.

    Meanwhile with Votto we have had a few really bad seasons. I dont give Pete all the credit, and I dont blame Votto for the Reds performace this season. Lets be honest if the Reds won 102 games this season and their second straight world series, Votto would be hailed as a hero, but after last season, we have to blame somebody. Votto is the face of the organization and some will blame him. Its not right, its just the way it is.

    So what should we blame it on? The reds have 329 wins and 374 losses since Marty shaved his head. Perhaps Marty is to blame. Blaming the reds misfortunes on Marty’s grooming habbits seems about as logical as blaming Votto.

  19. Votto is my favorite Reds player of all time, and it isn’t even close. I might also be one of the few people who really appreciate his personality as well. I find him hilarious.

    With that being said, I think it’s a little unfair to compare the 1st 9 seasons of their career when Pete Rose made his MLB debut 2 years earlier than Votto. Ironically, they both came up 1 week prior to their respective birthdays. Rose prior to his 22nd, Votto to his 24th. Rose put up a combined 14.1 bWAR in his age 32 and 33 season, the 2 most recent aged seasons Votto has completed.

  20. Rose is one of the greatest lead-off hitters of All- time. He hit for average, got on base, and scored lots of runs. He was a table-setter who’s competitive spirit energized a team and a city. The better the opponent and the bigger the stage, Rose led from the first inning.
    Votto is a complete, polished hitter. He and Rose would be complementary players on a team, not comparable ones. On a good team, I would hit Votto in the 3 hole. On a mediocre to bad team, I would hit him in the 2 hole.
    If JV can sustain his productivity and health through the remainder of this decade, he would surpass Rose as the Reds’ greatest hitter in my view.

  21. I have pages to add on this topic so will try to keep it as brief as I can.
    Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. His career and results on the field are amazing and in some regards, literally unmatched. That’s a story that should be told and celebrated. But sadly so is the story of his demise and exile. But without him and these stories the Hall is incomplete. The HoF should not be a reward to the player, it’s a living museum for the fans. It’s time to tell Pete’s story.
    Rose makes me cringe now. Every time he has the mic I worry about what he might say. Would I love to have a meal with Pete (or a dozen)? Sure! But do I want him on the air a dozen times? Nope.
    It’s amazing to me that we as Reds fans are even questioning Votto’s skills and accomplishments. I know we haven’t seen his “decline” years, but to date he is literally one of the twenty or so greatest hitters of all time by many important measures. He’s a joy to watch and I’m grateful for the chance.
    As a thoughtful introvert, I respect Votto’s public reticence. And as a fan I love his insights into baseball and hitting. There’s a place for the gritty types and the cheerleader types but I’m glad there’s also room for the Votto type.
    Finally, how cool is it that as Reds fans we can consider the relative greatness of our own stars? Give me Bench, Votto, Morgan, Larkin, Rose, Foster, Griffey and Robinson and I’ll take on any team from any universe. And the fact that your starting eight might be a little different only means that we have been so lucky. When Kluszewski, Pinson, Perez, Concepcion and Eric Davis are on your bench (among others) it’s good to be a Reds fan.
    So put me down as a huge Joey Votto fan, a grateful appreciator of Charlie Hustle, and a fortunate fan of the Cincinnati Reds. Great post Nick. Thank you.

    • This may sound contradictory but it is the National Baseball Hall of Fame AND Museum. Pete’s story could be told without him being enshrined in the Hall of Fame. I haven’t been to Cooperstown in almost 30 years but I think there are often displays in the Museum about players who are not in the HoF. I am also one who would not have a problem with him being elected to the HoF. It’s not something that I get too worked up about either so, if he does, fine, if not, ok with me too.

      • A lot of Pete’s stuff is in the HoF, just not Pete. It’s kind of silly when you think about it. This issue isn’t baseball’s ban, it’s that the HoF put in its own character clause that prevents people who are permanently banned from the game from being enshrined. Not sure why they wouldn’t just let the writers who vote make the decision. They seem to keeping a lot of PED users out (rather we agree or not) and there isn’t anything in the charter that says they aren’t allowed in. In time, maybe some of those guys get in just as in time, perhaps Rose would have if given the chance.

    • I really appreciate your very thoughtful post,CFD3000. The argument for keeping Rose out of the hall is similar to arguing for censoring art or literature because the artist or writer is personally repellent. Pete has more hits than anyone else who ever played the game. He should be in the Hall, perhaps with mention on his plaque of his banishment, since that’s part of the Game’s history, too.

  22. Nate….not sure where you got your info on Pete Rose but he was far from the highest paid player in baseball in 1978.Pete wasn’t even highest paid player on Reds team…according to Baseball Almanac in 1978 Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan both made $400,000 ….Pete was paid $375,000….Rose’s salary was 11% of Reds 1978 payroll of $3,300,000 (6the best in BB which explains how they could afford Bench,Morgan,Concepcion and Griffey Sr) .Lotta guys in baseball at that time were better paid than Rose…Mike Schmidt at $561,000….Catfish Hunter $640,000…

  23. A couple years ago, I toured GABP. At the end of the tour, they take you out to watch BP. While we’re sitting there, a couple of the staff start talking about what they perceive as the effort shown by the players. The particular target of their ire was Chapman.

    This is 2014. Chapman is practically the second best pitcher the Reds have. Who was their ideal “effort-giver”? Heisey was their “ballplayer”.

    I’ve toured a few other parks and haven’t experienced that kind of unprofessionalism. I wish the Reds didn’t have this kind of staff on hand. It’s not a problem to have an opinion, but there are better ways of having a discussion.

  24. I am a huge Rose fan always will be. I’m glad I got several chances to see him play. I am just not a fan of Votto. Someone asked earlier about not liking walks. I just do not like walks they are just not for me and why I have lost interest in baseball an gained interest in other sports. I won’t criticize others for liking Votto.

    • You’ve lost interest in baseball because of walks? They’ve always been a part of the game, and I think, league-wide, they are on a downward trend. (Might be wrong about that…but seems right!)

      • Might be right about walks declining but it seems players who walk more have increased in stature and praise. I just don’t agree. I’d rsther have a player get a base hit than walk.

        • Generally, players who walk are walked because they won’t swing at bad pitches. When you swing at bad pitches, you make weak contact, and when you make weak contact, you usually get out.

          No one (forget what Marty says) goes up to the plate looking to walk. But, a good hitter (ie-Votto) will go up looking to simply NOT get out. So, if no good pitches are thrown, take a walk.

          Seems simple. Why give up outs for no reason? Outs are the clock in a clock-less game.

        • Votto also led the team in hits, tied for the lead in doubles, and 2nd in home runs, so he is also doing what you want to see along with getting walks

    • Lost interest in baseball because of walks? It’s like losing interest in basketball because of free-throws.

      • Which is possible. Particularly free-throws at the end of a close game which prolong the whole thing ad nauseum when the outcome isn’t really in doubt.

  25. If anyone is feeling sporty, you can go search for the 2nd (I think) article I wrote here called “The Greatest Reds Hitter” or something, where I showed, in an era-neutral measure, Votto is the best Reds hitter ever. Frank Robinson was very close, however. No one else was even really close.

    • It sounds crazy but I still have a soft spot when thinking of Frank Robinson’s trade to Baltimore.

  26. Fans don’t pick their players based on logic, or everyone would love a top-5 MVP type guy, Rose, Votto, or A-Rod. The simple fact is, they pick with their hearts, and Rose put it all out there (warts and all) and was a local boy. Votto keeps his distance a bit more in this “look-at-me” Twitter era and people are baffled by it.

    I’m with you that Rose, though he deserves the Hall for his on-field work, can be a bit of an @$$ and Votto is someone I would actually want to emulate in my career out here in the real world, as well as someone I thoroughly enjoy watching play baseball (very well).

    Education helps, too, man. For everyone you direct to a Rose v. Votto slash line comparison, you’ll probably always hear a few “Yeah, but Rose got more hits,” or “Votto walks too much,” type comments. Fans don’t always pick based on production, they often pick on personal relation. Look at all the “Hey! That could be me!” people who loved Sabo even after he fell off, Ryan Freel, Chris Stynes, etc. etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. As Carl Buehner wrote (not Maya Angelou, speaking of misdirected love): They may forget what you said – but they will never forget how you made them feel.


  27. We should count ourselves as lucky we’re getting to watch Votto play baseball. I loved Rose the player (post player Rose is a hot mess). I also love Votto’s approach to the game.

    Votto is also a change agent. He’s focused on advanced statistics which he thinks (and I do too) calculate value more accurately. Marty doesn’t like this change. It over complicates a game he views simply. Rose is the embodiment of that simplicity – see ball, hit ball – and run like hell.

    I also wonder if Marty questions Joey’s masculinity. There’s something about Votto that makes Marty uncomfortable and I get the sense it’s more visceral than his approach at the plate.

  28. One thing in Rose’s favor in the comparison is that he played 139 more games in his 9 years than Votto. During those games, the Reds had Brayan Pena or an equivalent playing 1B. There is an argument to be made that in calculating value to a team, one would want to adjust for Votto’s missing more games, by including what Pena etc. did in Votto’s absence.

    The fewer strikeouts in my opinion do have some meaning. A strikeout by definition is the hitter either taking a third strike, or swinging and missing for the third strike. 57-odd more times a year than Votto, Rose put that third strike into play, and even if every one was a non-hit, something good could have happened–runner moved up, fielder’s choice, error, etc. (minus double plays). It may not add to much, but it is something. I hate strikeouts and think they are poorly accounted for in modern metrics. It makes no sense to me to give pitchers credit for strikeouts but not give demerits to hitters for strikeouts.

    I still think Votto is a superior hitter.

    I looked up Ted Kluszewski on Baseball Reference. He was incredible over his first 9 years, and is probably a more interesting comparison to Votto than Rose. He didn’t strike out much, but played in a very low-K era.

    • Loved Rose the player…But respectfully take issue with the dastardly deed known as striking out being the worst outcome because it ignores the approach to hitting which makes many other at bats end well and also ignores worse outcomes …A strikeout is bad. But…There are worse things than strikeouts…. more importantly….Players who are comfortable hitting with 2 strikes and extend at bats are critically important players….Joey Votto gives you a great at bat…Pete did too…Although the end of his career he led the free world in 4-3 ground outs.

      The infield pop-up and the weak roll-over ground ball are worse than a strikeout. A 7 pitch K is a quality at bat and far superior than the first pitch pop out….You had a chance in that at-bat…..Imagine Jay Bruce or Todd Frazier popping up on the first pitch with bases loaded and 1 out….I HATE that at bat….The goal of a pitcher many times is NOT to get a K….With runners at 1/2 and 1 out….The goal is to slow bat speed and get a roll over weak grounder…Brandon Phillips does a lot of this early in the count resulting in the 6-4-3 inning killer. ..I HATE that at bat too….Joey Votto never does either and in fact has 16 infield pop-ups in his career. He gives you a quality at bat virtually every time and his no-fear approach to hitting with 2 strike outs is why he leads the free world in quality at bats and on base percentage and also why he hits the baseball so well so hard so often. He won’t quit…Ever….on trying to give a great at bat every time. He’s every pitcher’s nightmare.

      • I’m with Ed…the K is the worst out in baseball all other things being equal.You don’t move a runner…you don’t put pressure on defense to force an error…can’t sac fly a run in…you go back to bench and have a seat. And it’s real bad when your name is Billy Hamilton….no infield hit when BH strikes out,no possible chance to force an error and/or bad throw.The only way for opposing pitchers have to neutralize BH….strike him out.

        • If you tell a 10 year old….Or a freshman trying out…Or a rookie….Or Jay Bruce in a 2-21 slump….the worst thing you can do is strike out….what will they do?????? They will avoid the strike out at all costs…..And swing when they shouldn’t….Because….Now the goal becomes not to give a good at bat and hit the ball hard…Or get on base…..It’s don’t strike out…..Take the safest bet and swing at the first pitch …That pitchers pitch ….That slider low and away and lunge out front and roll over and hit a 6-4-3 double play ball…..Anything is better than a K and if I get to 2 strikes in the count…. I might do the worst thing….So the goal then becomes….Avoid that dastardly deed and worst thing.

          That is hitting…..Monday morning quarterback style..Hitting is a proactive endeavor focusing on mechanics and approach and process, and accepting the fact that 60℅ of the time you go back to the dugout even if you are the best.

        • Can’t agree OS….any hitter that get to this level and is swinging at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone is lacking plate discipline and that’s a talent you either have or don’t.KC Royals are team I’d like to see Reds model themselves after…in 2015 KCR were last in strike outs in AL….2nd from last in Home Runs….last in walks….2nd in hits….2nd in BA and 7th in OBP.In other words aggressive hitters who had the talent to get base hits and “keep the line going” as they use to say…

        • I am not disagreeing that players who strike out because they lack plate disciple and swing at bad pitches…..are a bad thing…We agree on that….I’m arguing that next order of higher hitting and plate discipline…..Those advanced hitters who have plate discipline…Like Joey Votto …..Who have the highest percentage of quality at bats….Because they don’t fear 2 strike counts and take that nasty slider for strike out because they wouldn’t hit it….. and work the pitcher to get their pitch….Many bad hitters quit early…Swing at the pitchers pitch and get them selves out…

        • For strike 2…. To live another day….Not strike out.

  29. Patrick you are a very good writer and make many string points. I am trying to learn many of the advanced stats but I admit many do not make sense to me. I do have an opinion that walks are too heavily weighted.

    • I’m sure you meant to give Nick the kudos (he is, indeed, a very good writer), but I’ll reply here.

      Walks, from a sabermetric standpoint, are “correctly” weighted, given the amount of runs they lead to, on average, when all that at-bat to at-bat data is collected and calculated.

      For example, a walk was worth, on average, 0.691 runs last season. A single was worth 0.878 runs. So, in relative terms, a single is 27% more valuable than a walk. Seems about right to me.

      These linear weights are the basis for stats like wRC+, wOBA, and wRAA (which leads to the offensive component of WAR).

      Thanks for being a part of the Nation, Derek B.!!

  30. Joey votto is great but joey votto doesn’t belong in the same sentence as Pete rose. The man did it all and did for 20+ seasons. Played hurt never took plays off. Pete rose did everything for the team to win. He played everywhere. How many times you see votto hit a grounder to first base or in the infield and run the play out or just jog down to first. Rose wasn’t Charlie hustle for no reason. Rose ran a catcher over in an all star game that has no meaning other then bragging rights. Because rose wanted to win

    • Risking injury running over the catcher is probably not a wise decision for Votto, not to mention illegal. I will never understand the theory that Votto doesn’t try. When I watch I see a very intense player. Just because he isn’t sprinting to first on a walk or screaming does not mean he doesn’t care. When he shows emotion the same people criticize him for over reacting

    • What “same sentence” are you talking about, Justin? If it’s the sentence that says The best hitter in Reds history, then only Votto and Robinson belong in that sentence.

      Rose ran over Fosse because it was always about Rose first. Don’t ever forget that.

    • Again, that logic would mean Adam Rosales is better than Joey Votto. Silly argument.

    • Rose moved from LF to 3B to make room for George Foster. I remember Votto refusing to move from 1B to LF to make room for Yonder Alonso(although it turned out for the best but wasn’t known at the time). Still we are comparing apples to oranges when comparing the two. Both were/are great players. I think a better all around match for Votto would be George Foster from that era although Votto makes much better contact.

      • I remember that too…Reds tried Yonder Alonso in LF at Wrigley think it was and found out real quick he wasn’t an outfielder.Then a reporter asked Votto if he’d be willing to learn a new defensive position to make room for Alonso and JV said no…

        • Do you have an article or report with proof of that claim? A video or audio clip, perhaps?

          This sounds like a classic example of something being taken out of context. Votto would do whatever the team told him to do.

        • Hi Patrick… at that time Reds were high on Yonder Alonso and trying to find room for him .I remember one game in particular Reds tried Yonder in LF at Wrigley and it was a disaster,the winds gave him fits.Total game he played in 2011 in OF was 16 all in left field.The question on JV was asked by a reporter I took it as an off the cuff remark…..would he be willing to learn to play third to make room for Alonso.And he said no….wasn’t a big deal at the time because JV was established and it was his right to say no.

      • Rose moved to 3B during an era of 1 year contracts and no/extremely limited free agency. He had no choice.

        Votto is owed 150 million dollars, can veto any trade and holds all the cards. Rose has proven himself to be one of the most self absorbed people on the planet. Difficult to believe he wouldn’t exercise the same power as Votto if he’d been given the opportunity.

        Lastly, the Reds were perhaps the most profitable team in baseball in 1978 and they let Rose walk….they made virtually no effort to resign him. Why?

      • Senator, I was a die-hard George Foster fan, I knew George Foster, He hit 52 home runs in 1977, George Foster was a friend of mine, I met him at Burger Chef as an 8 year old. He signed an autograph for me… Yonder….you’re no George Foster.

  31. Watching Votto last season was often painful. Joey ran the bases hard, but slow and deliberate. He ran like the Old Cossack on two old, painful knees. I found the criticism for Joey’s poor performance on the bases and in the field to be very valid, but somewhat misplaced. The lateral movement and squatting to field ground balls is difficult on a problematic knee. The deliberate motion Joey used to run the bases was also indicative of the problem with a bad knee. I think Joey’s decision to opt out of the WBC speaks volumes to his concern regarding his knee and it’s negative impact on his ability to play good defense and run the bases effectively. I think a lot of TLC and critical rehab to strengthen his knee joint during the off season and spring will pay dividends for improved defense and baserunning, but this knee will be an ongoing problem that will need to be addressed every off season with probable diminishing returns. If Votto can produce average results in those two categories while managing the problem with his knee, he will again prove his remarkable commitment to maximizing his skills on the baseball diamond.

    • I don’t know…. I know an awful lot about knees and a torn meniscus from over 2 years ago shouldn’t be causing him trouble. It’s a relatively easy thing to fix assuming you have enough cartilage as one should in a typically healthy knee. If he had prior knee injuries or has some sort of genetic issue, then I could see it being more of a problem. There’s also a chance that he may have reduced or damaged cartilage outside of his meniscus tear do to all the catching he did while he was still a catcher, but we haven’t heard about him having such a thing. I’m not saying he isn’t having some sort of knee issues, but I don’t think it would have to do with his 2-year old meniscus tear.

  32. Bottom line, it’s sort of what you are looking for. If Pete had power, he probably wouldn’t been batting more along the lines of 3-5 holes. But, Pete’s strength wasn’t that. So, he was more of a leadoff hitter.

    Votto’s power makes him more likely to drive more runs in. So, he’s more ideal in the 3-5 holes. Put Votto at leadoff, then his RBI’s go way down.

  33. For Mr. Foist, yes I know more about the game than Marty Brennamen. He watched baseball for years like everyone in this post. He is no more qualified than anyone else. Marty Brenneman clearly hates Joey Votto and it effects his integrity. I want to start a movement that Marty Brenneman is overpaid and his contract is excessive! What does he make to misinform people and just talk for an hour and a half 162 days a year?

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About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.


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