May 15, 2016
In the weekend three-game series, Reds first baseman Joey Votto went 0-for-10 with a couple of walks at the plate. Yet despite his recent futility (and for the season, Votto’s OPS is a measly .709), the former National League MVP was Public Enemy No. 1 at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday.
That’s because Votto decided to take on the role of a wrestling heel after a ball was hit into foul territory near first base in the sixth inning. Take a look at this sell job:
Votto has played in 25 games at Citizens Bank Park during his career, and according to him, this was one way of getting back at heckling fans.
“I was just having fun out there,” Votto said. “They give you a hard time during the game, and that’s my way of giving them a hard time back. Really, it’s just me playing around.
“I was telling, I think it was [Freddy] Galvis just how much fun I have coming here because they’re such an energized bunch and they get on you if you’re not doing your job,” Votto said. “Even if you’re on the other team, if you’re giving them a hard time, [they get on you]. It’s a really fun group here.”
Later, as the Reds were leaving the field after an inning ended, Votto deked out some fans again. This time, the camera angle didn’t make the 32-year-old look so great:
Again, though, Votto is proving that it’s all in the sell. After the game, He said that he wasn’t focused on trying to get the kids’ (one ended up receiving an autographed Mike Schmidt ball, anyway) hopes up.
“I happened to pop in during the game and on TV, the theme was I didn’t give a ball to a kid, which is definitely not the case,” Votto said. “I made a point to not give a ball to an adult that was giving me a hard time and so be it.”
Votto was lustily booed the rest of the game. His response to those who don’t happen to like his actions?
“Too bad,” Votto said.
Cameron Rupp took the shot of all shots, and he still hung on to seal the Phillies’ win on Saturday night. If this were the NFL, Eugenio Suarez would have been called for targeting and fined $50,000 (not that there was anything he could here):
LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, THE PHILLIES WIN AGAIN pic.twitter.com/ld6v7h2Ig8— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) May 15, 2016
The first thought naturally is about Rupp’s head. The 27-year-old catcher went through concussion tests that turned out fine, but he also rolled his ankle on the play. Rupp was out of the lineup on Sunday.
“We’re going to check him out early in the morning to see where he is and see how he is,” Pete Mackanin said after the game. “They evaluated him last night and he was fine. He came in this morning and he was sore. His ankle and knee were both sore so they evaluated him again later today and what we’re going to do is see tomorrow.”
According to the Phillies, Rupp will be re-evaluated on Monday and it will be determined if he needs to have an MRI.
“If it’s going to be one or two days, we probably don’t need to do anything,” Mackanin said about making a roster move. “But if more than that, we’re going to have to have a catcher in here.”
AAA Lehigh Valley’s catching rotation consists of Andrew Knapp (.245 AVG) and J.P. Arencibia (.167 AVG). Even though Knapp is the starter and a legitimate prospect, the veteran Arencibia might be strongly considered as a stopgap option.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann