Joey Votto should challenge himself to win, instead of the other Cincinnati Reds.
The leader of the Cincinnati Reds wants to the rest of the team to value winning. Unfortunately, the first step is to look in the mirror. Votto has been great at playing baseball for himself.
This is not about Votto off of the field. By all accounts he is an approachable and level headed man. This is about how he approaches the game of baseball.
Votto is not that different from former Red Adam Dunn. Neither batter changed his approach for the most of his career. Votto does have one noticeable exception.
When teams began to overshift against him, Votto began to chop the ball down the third base line. He was taking what they were giving. Votto, though, needs to take what the Reds need instead.
No one can get on base in MLB like Votto. However, Votto isn’t a fast player. He is the heart of the Reds’ line-up.
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The Reds have needed RBIs from Votto for the past several years, but he has mostly focused on getting on base. While that is not openly selfish, it is not what someone focused on winning would do. That is why Votto shouldn’t have said anything.
What is music to the ears of the Cincinnati Reds fans is aggravation to Joey Votto’s teammates.
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Votto is surrounded by young players. Only Devin Mesoraco, Homer Bailey and Billy Hamilton remain with Votto from the last playoff team. Those three haven’t made it through either of the past two seasons healthy individually.
The rest of the team is somewhere between building a career and proving that he belongs. Asking Luis Castillo to win after his rookie campaign doesn’t ring true. It is even worse for the fifteen other pitchers that started for the Reds last season.
Votto’s heart seems to be in the right place. His message just doesn’t seem well thought out. Instead of talking about winning, he should have been talking about competing.
This season could be the last for the Reds where winning isn’t the main objective, though. They need to figure out which five starters will stay in the rotation. They also need to determine which three outfielders will stay with the team.
If Votto wants to win, he needs to lead the team. Giving interviews to the media about it comes off as self-righteous. Of course, if he drove in more runs, maybe the Reds would win more games.