Take a wild guess who has the best on-base percentage (.428) and the most walks (1,057) since Joey Votto entered the league in 2007.
I’ll give you a hint: his name’s in the headline.
Now, I didn’t know that for a fact before researching this, but I had a pretty good idea where Votto stood. He has 120 more walks than the runner-up (Jose Bautista) and his OBP is 14 points higher than the runner-up in that category (Mike Trout).
Either way, I think anyone who follows the game enough to know who Joey Votto is, knows he has an amazing understanding of the strike zone. There may not be a hitter in the game who has a better command of it.
His walk frequency has actually been a problem in the past, because the Reds see him as a bit more than just a guy who gets on base. (Gee, I wonder why…career .536 OPS, 7th best in the aforementioned time frame.)
So when he tells an umpire that he made a mistake — even if he raises his voice a tad — don’t you think he might be helpful to listen for a sec? I’m not saying I’d roll over and take it, but if there’s any hitter who’s criticism I’d be open to, it’s Votto’s.
Carlos Torres does not feel that way, which is why Votto got the heave in the first inning of Cincinnati’s game against the Braves Wednesday.
I’ve never heard of this umpire before, so you can chalk this one up as a bad day, I guess. But man, does Votto ever have a reason to be pissed off.
I’m, admittedly, always pro-pitcher in any argument, but that first strike was a good 8 inches off the plate.
And that called third strike? That frame by Kurt Suzuki was TERRIBLE. (And ill-advised for that matter.) It was probably 4 inches off the plate and well above the belt. Not even close.
To quote the great wordsmith Terry Collins, “YouGottaGiveUsASHOT!”