Many Reds fans simply do not understand what Joey Votto has been able to accomplish to this point in his career. This puts it into perspective.

Cherish every single Votto at-bat this year, and every year. He’s a special player.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 55 Comments

  1. If he would just start gambling on baseball then Reds fans would adore him.

  2. Great post Chad. Votto is one of the reasons I love following Reds regardless of their record.

  3. Most underrated player in baseball. Good stuff.

  4. Votto is certainly the biggest reason to follow the Reds this year. I wonder what his critics would say if he actually managed to hit over .400 for an entire season? If the Reds ever get a solid bat in front an in behind .400 would become very possible.

  5. Joey Votto is entering his age 33 season, so it’s reasonable to expect his stats to start tailing off some.

    But, here’s a remarkable stat for you: Joey Votto’s career OBP is .425. That’s the 12th highest in MLB history. But over the last 5 seasons (not counting his injury plagued 2014), his OBP has actually been .450(!).

    This means that, if Joey Votto doesn’t completely fall off a cliff for a few more years, he could be knocking on the door of top 10 career OBP of all time. 10th place currently belongs to Jimmie Foxx at .428.

    It’s definitely within reach. But if he gets there, the question becomes: Can he stay good enough long enough to remain there up until he decides to finally hang them up? The last 5 years show he has an extremely high peak to decline from, but will it be enough when Father Time comes calling for Mr. Votto?

    • And can he stay good enough long enough to stop being criticized by a certain family from Reds broadcast booths?

      • Nope. They’ve made up their minds.

      • Probably not. They have made their minds up for some reason.

      • Does this affect his HOF chances? I mean – does a guy playing in a small market need his legendary local media types to advocate for him to sport writers in other parts of the country?

        If so, Marty needs to get over it quickly and start selling JVotto Koolaid. Anyone else familiar with a radio legend so adamantly against his hometown marquee player? Is there precedent for this?

        • The question you raise is a good one. I believe that there was a time when a HOF radio legend could negatively impact a borderline player’s chances. At this point, between the advent and general acceptance of advanced metrics.. along with a slow but steady changing of the guard amongst the BWA, the subjective opinion of a local broadcaster is becoming less and less relevant for HOF consideration. The Buster Olney’s of the world have far more influence.

          Radio play by play guys were once the alpha dogs of sports broadcasting. At this point the audience is becoming smaller and older with each passing season. 10 years from now the Reds on radio will likely not exist. When your main sponsors are a plumber, the team’s law firm and an adult rehabilitation center the end is near.

          • Well said. We are in a new world.

          • Plus back then we hardly saw any games ourselves. We depended on the radio announcers to tell us how good the players were. Now, with virtually all the games televised, most fans can see for themselves. I’m not sure the advanced metrics are really the issue in terms of reliance on stats, though. Hall of Fame induction has always been highly tied to statistical milestones – 500 home runs, .300 career batting average, 300 pitcher wins, etc. But yes, *which* stats are valued is changing.

        • It could at the margin, particularly with low-information, old-school voters. It would be nice to have that influence pulling in Votto’s direction instead of leaning against it. I don’t understand why the Reds organization puts up with it.

    • I think MLB needs to disallow stats from the 1800s. I think like 2-3 of the guys ahead of Votto are those kinds of guys, including the tastefully named Billy Hamilton.

      The game was just completely different back in that era.

      • Either disallow or provide them with an asterisk because, you’re right, it was a very different game. But this does raise an interesting question: Who decides (and how do they decide) when changes to the game are substantive enough to require action on statistics? The dead ball era clearly stands apart, but I would contend that the steroid era does as well. Problem is determining if it actually has ended and, if so, when.

    • Votto is a technician and prepares more than anyone…Including his body…He has a shot to still be very productive at 38/39. Playing first base is a career lengthener.

  6. Chad, that certainly does put it into perspective …

    I’ve long suspected that Joey V. did not measure up to Earl Averill (aka the Earl Of Snohomish), and this confirms it.

    Seriously though, Joey Votto is a treasure that we should cherish, each and every at bat. Man, I love watching him hit.

    And thank you for expanding my horizons by prompting me to look up Earl Averill. He was quite the player.

  7. I predict there will be over 100 replies.

    • And maybe it should have been noted that he DID bat 229 for March through May. Effectively ending any competitive aspirations for the team.

      • Joey’s poor start was scarcely the only reason for the Reds’ poor first half.

      • Perhaps you missed the ” worst pitching performance in history” that took place in May. It’s ok to not like Votto, it’s not ok to just make stuff up to fit a narrative that can’t be supported by anything factual.

        • He batted around 200 for the for the two months of the season. It seems too me I am not the one “making stuff up”. To ignore the fact that “our star’s” extremely poor start did not contribute to this teams early demise, is well,

          • Nobody can contest what Votto was hitting early last season. We are contesting the conclusion drawn from your post that it had a significant impact on the team’s ability to be competitive. Joey could have hit .500 for two months and this team might have moved back one place in the draft this June.

            Don’t be contrarian for fun. Friends don’t let friends behave like Marty. 🙂

          • During Votto’s slump, the Reds scored 4 runs per game and gave up 6.

            Once he took off, they averaged 4.6 and gave up 4.8.

            The facts actually show his slump had minimal to no impact on wins-losses.

            Try again. This is fun.

          • Saying that his poor start contributed to the general failure is one thing, but your original phrasing indicated that you considered it the sole reason or, at least, the primary reason. Infelicitous phrasing or misunderstanding based on literal interpretation or both.

          • Barry Larkin sucked in April and had a pretty bad few years with errors on West Coast Road trips. He is still a hall of famer and great player and a Reds legend. Human beings aren’t perfect. Who in your mind is better than these eminently flawed Barry Larkin’s and Joey Votto’s????

      • It’s almost like the whole seasons counts, or something…. at least I think it does… does it?? Hmmm…. not so sure now.

        • So, by this logic, if Votto’s poor contribution was minimal, while in his slump, then likewise, when he was on his streak, his contribution was minimal as well. So basically, according to the logic bantered around thus far, he contributes nothing of significance to the Reds. Basically proving my point. 😉

          • Your “point” is that Joey Votto contributes nothing of significance to the Reds?

          • When the Reds last made the playoffs, in 2013, Votto slashed .305/.435/.491, 24 HR and 73 RBI. In 2016 he hit even better than that: .326/.434/.550 with 29 HR and 97 RBI. And as this post indicates, he pretty does this year in and year out. So, we’re pretty sure Joey contributes a great deal, and the other 24 guys on the roster are also asked to play the game. This is somewhat inconvenient for the Reds, as their other players haven’t been very good. This isn’t the Bugs Bunny Baseball League.

            Who, in your opinion, are the key contributors for the Reds, if not Votto? Who are you drafting ahead of him from this team?

          • That would assume the two “halves” were equal. They weren’t. A 50 wRC+ in the first half versus a 200 wRC+ in the 2nd half. 100 is greater than 50 (Diff between average and Votto).

            Net effect is positive.

            This isn’t football. One player (See Brady, Tom) can’t win or lose the season.

          • But yeah, if you want to argue that no single individual particularly moves the needle on wins and losses, that’s pretty true. Team game. Team. Seems like you’re supporting an argument for Votto to be individually responsible for an additional 10 Wins a season.

            If you don’t care for him as a player, nobody minds. No need to make specious and unsupportable arguments to bolster your personal preferences. Just be content to know what you like and don’t like.

          • “Your “point” is that Joey Votto contributes nothing of significance to the Reds?”

            No, the point is if his poor play for two months, beginning the season last year, contributed very little to the Reds losing percentage at the beginning of the season, then his “great” second half had equally little effect. We can’t have it both ways.

          • .6 runs per game looks minimal at first glance–to me, too–but if every player in the starting lineup accounted for.6 runs per game, and they had a good pitching staff, they’d start looking pretty formidable. This may be a case that proves that not all stats are created equal, since Votto’s production–first half and second half–wasn’t taking place in a vacuum. Patrick could elucidate, but I bet the work it would take to account for every factor that influenced the increase in scoring would be more than the argument is worth. We’re pretty stroppy today, aren’t we?

      • I’m starting to think you aren’t a fan of Joey Votto.

  8. He’s a joy to watch. One of the most gratifying details of my Reds obsession has been the long list of wonderful individual players to watch in wonder and root for with gusto. On my watch the Reds have had two players spend their entire career in Cincinnati and eventually hang a plaque in Cooperstown. Not as satisfying as the three Series rings, but almost. I will be thrilled if (when?) Votto joins Bench and Larkin on that elite list.

  9. He’s not paid to hit .313/.425/.536.

    Oh, wait a minute. I guess he is….

  10. Joey Votto has been one of the best players of all time, the stats prove it as does the eye test. Other Reds players better be learning from his approach!

  11. If he can keep his hands on his wallet for all six months in 2017, it could be very special.
    I really though after his 2015 2nd half explosion, that he would smash it it in 2016. It could have been really extraordinary if it weren’t for those 1st two months last year.

  12. Don’t know where to post this, but what happened to Disco?

  13. No clue what’s going on here in ST, but he has been God-awful in his 6 ABs thru yesterday. 4 Ks, and 2 weak infield groundouts. Remove the jersey and you’d think that he was on a minor league invite to big camp.

    • Votto does this every year. His plan in spring training is to look at as many pitches as possible, meaning he’s going to strike out a lot. Trust the process!

  14. Here’s a question. Do our greater statistical analyses of player performance vs age (i.e. betting on youngsters with high up-side projections vs. old, good but declining players) make it more likely or less likely that a good player makes it into their 40s and break records. In other words, if Pete Rose were subjected to the same statistical analysis in his waning years, would he have been able to stay around long enough to break Ty Cobbs record or Henry Aaron break Babe Ruth’s, or Boggs and Carew achieve their 3000 hit career status. What are the odds that any player makes it into their 40s these days vs. the ‘old days.’

    • I don’t think it’s the stats so much. The biggest factors shortening careers are: (1) banning performance enhancing drugs, including amphetamines, (2) players make so much money they can retire easier. A Rod played late in his career. Ichiro is too. Rose was singular, so it’s no surprise there aren’t more players like him.

  15. Joe nuks would love jv mb and his son not so much..sad sad sad…

  16. Getting back to Marty B….he is without doubt the least knowledgeable baseball announcer in the game today. He bloviates. He thinks he is funny but is not. His time has come and gone. He is no longer elite.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.


Joey Votto is Perfect