This piece by John Fay in the Enquirer is a must-read for everyone who discusses the Reds on the internets. In fact, the headline says it all: “Votto’s privacy trumps our interest“. Indeed.

Theories on what ails Joey Votto are abundant. Some are plausible, some are preposterous.

I won’t give credence to any by repeating them here. I don’t know any more about what has Votto on the disabled list than I’ve written, which is basically that he’s on the DL dealing with a stress-related, personal issue.

That’s a pretty wide category.

Very few people in the Reds organization know either. My guess is manager Dusty Baker, general manager Walt Jocketty and trainer Mark Mann and owner Bob Castellini are the only people with the club who know with certainty.

We have not speculated about what’s ailing Votto here at Redleg Nation, and we’re not going to permit some of the nonsense in our comments that we’ve seen elsewhere. It’s irresponsible to speculate. I must say, however, that I’ve been pleased with the tone of most of the comments here. I’ve gained a great deal of respect for most of you guys and gals.

Fay discusses a particular type of commenter, however, and we have seen a few of these here:

The notion that Votto should “man up” and play is ridiculous. Whatever he is dealing with is real.

Votto knows what kind of a bind he’s put the Reds in. When I talked to him a few weeks ago about his season, he said one of the things he wanted to work on was “being a good teammate.”

He is that.

We’ve talked with a number of people around the Reds, people who know Joey Votto. Every single person who knows Votto says that he “a man” (as Chris Welsh put it), someone who doesn’t take lightly his responsibility to this team. This is a real condition Votto is dealing with, and I have 100% confidence that he’ll be back on the field at the earliest possible opportunity.

When that return will happen, well, I don’t have any idea. Could be next week, or it could be next April. Who knows? All we can do is wish Votto the best, and hope that he gets back soon. The Reds aren’t the same team without him, no question.