More from Mark Sheldon:

Joey Votto played his first home game since returning from the DL and revealing his personal issues. What was the reception like for Votto when he batted in the bottom of the first? — a polite applause just like it was any other at-bat.

I really thought there would be more than that — especially with all of the interest about the reasons behind his absence during the 22 games he was away. Were people more interested in the intrigue, false rumors and inneuendo (sic) than the actual truth about why Votto was out? The truth, I thought, was pretty compelling and it was courageous for Votto to share.

Guess most fans just weren’t that impressed. Too bad.

Too bad, indeed.

33 Responses

  1. John

    Maybe two things:

    1) The average Reds fan in attendance had no idea he was even on the DL because they don’t follow the team all that closely. Eight losing seasons will hurt an attention span. Maybe.

    2) The average Reds fan in attendance doesn’t really believe grief and depression are legitimate reasons to go on the DL. Remember all the “man up” comments here, on Red Reporter, the mouth breathers on Fay’s blog and WLW, etc.?

    I’m not saying either are right. I’m just saying.

  2. Jimmy

    This fat lazy American was out of the country in lean industrious London when Votto bravely told us what the problem was. I have scoured this site and see that the problem had to do with his father dying young. Is that right? Or was there more to it.

  3. Y-City Jim

    Reds fans may not be hard core enough to know what is going on. Our perspective, as extremely diligent fans, is perhaps skewed.

  4. Ramrod

    Joey Votto is an inspirational story. The BALLS of this man to come out and say straight up his was having mental issues, is amazing. As a young guy myself, who has continuously dealt with mental health issues, it is a boon for the community when someone as big and bad as Joey Votto steps to the plate and talks about the issues at hand.

    For some reason in society mental health is still not considered a “real” sickness, which is ridiculous. One just needs to experience it to understand.

    I was cheering at my TV when he came on. Let ‘s just hope the lack of applause was out of ignorance and not because they don’t appreciate what he went through.


  5. Travis G.

    That may be true, Jim, but it was a pretty big news story on TV and in the newspapers. Most people I know were aware of his problems and his return, and a lot of my friends don’t even follow baseball. Certainly, people who would attend a game would likely know.

  6. Matt W

    We cheered our tails off for him in Dayton when he was on rehab over Father’s Day weekend. Not for sure what happened last night

  7. Rich

    Unfortunately, I believe that many people including fans do not see mental health and as much as issue as an injury or disease? I also believe that for some people it is easier easier to gripe about wins and loses than take a step back and see the big picture? I wish Joey Votto the best and I hope that he heals for his own self.

  8. Jason

    I for one, as unfortunate as it maybe, am glad to see this is getting some attention today. I dont want to hear about the economy or fans jaded about years of losing, I get why are park isnt full, but this went on last year as well when Jr. was @ 599 at home swinging for 600 with fans all sitting for the occasion. I really dont get it at all. Its disappointing and embarassing.

  9. RiverCity Redleg

    Good point Jason. I, too, was disappointed in the lack of fanfare surrounding Jr’s run at 600.

  10. GregD

    Perhaps many of the fans had seen his previous 6 games since coming off the DL and perceived this as his 7th game back and not his 1st?? I know it was his first at home…

    And #3 – I don’t recall anyone here saying that Votto should “man up”?

  11. jason1972

    There is more emoting about this ‘slight’ than is warranted. Props to those in this thread and the other who used it as an opportunity to make sweeping generalizations about how fat, lazy, and stupid Americans are, that was super awesome!

  12. Rich

    This is off topic, but I thought it was worth a comment?

    According to’s Jon Paul Morosi, the Reds have made plans to call up infielder Drew Sutton.
    Sutton was acquired earlier this season in the Jeff Keppinger deal. The 26-year-old has hit .255 with five home runs and 19 RBI for the Triple-A Louisville bats and could provide adequate infield depth for the injury-ridden Reds. It’s not yet clear who will be booted to make room.

  13. Matt WI

    What a shame there wasn’t more attention. I yack my poor wife’s ear off about the greatness of Joey Votto. I’m trying to justify the $200 on a Votto jersey. I think GregD makes a point about the fact he had already been playing games maybe making a difference. But still, a shame.

  14. Y-City Jim

    Travis, that may be true for the immediate Cincinnati-Dayton area but not so for the rest of Reds Country. Our paper, which is part of the Gannett network just as the Enquirer is, had nothing on the Votto story.

  15. Bill Lack

    I can tell that I’m going to be blasted for this, but while it would have been nice if he had gotten more of an ovation, I think this lack of a response is being vastly over played here and in the media. (This is at least the second mention of it on this blog and apparently its been a semi-big deal in the local media).

    I think it’s great that he’s back and courageous that he admitted his reasons for having to go on the DL, but I don’t see the fans lack of making a HUGE deal (his first AB in Cincinnati) as being that big of a deal.

  16. jason1972

    >I can tell that I’m going to be blasted for this,<

    As well you should for openly displaying an ability to think critically on the interwebs.

  17. Matt WI

    In the scheme of things, no, it’s not a big deal Votto didn’t get an ovation. But I think one of the things that makes baseball great is that over 162 games there is a relationship that develops between players and fans. And in a small market like Cincy, the team has even played on those relationships to fill seats. It was remarked on frequently here that fans ate up the Rosales enthusiasm, and Brandon Phillips gets beaten up regularly for his comments and “laziness.”
    Joey Votto has been far and away the shining star on this team offensively, which typically gets the most notice. That he bothered to share a very personal issue with us and hopefully help de-stigmatize mental illness, is fantastic. So no, the fans didn’t need to go all out, they didn’t owe it to him, but it would have been a hell of a gesture and would have spoken well of the awareness of this team’s fans.

  18. Matt WI

    To add… I’m jealous that places like St. Louis are frequently recognized for being smart, knowledgable baseball fans. I wish it were true for Cincy (of course I’m only speaking to general opinions here, not specific fans who obvioulsy care a lot about the team).

  19. Travis G.

    I hate to sound so cynical, especially with this topic as the springboard, but I’m not sure Cincinnati fans would fully appreciate having Albert Pujols on our team, because he doesn’t sprint and dive and scream at his teammates.

    I think we’re stuck with that mentality until Pete Rose fades from living memory.

  20. Mark in CC

    The recognition or lack there of on Juniors run to 600 was more relief due to the facts: it took about a month longer than people had expected, the team and broadcasters had been jamming it down everyones throat the whole season (and a month longer than everyone expected) and then his comment that he would like to do it in Florida. The anticipation and excitement had worn off through over promotion and lack of respect for the hometown fans might have been the key.

    I for one was glad to stop hearing about it.

    Votto did receive a big but somewhat tempered ovation in the game I was at in Dayton. Maybe for once people listened to what the player said in the Toronto interview and thought he might be embarrassed by a huge ovation, thus reliving the pain again. Maybe the fans should get some credit not scorn.

  21. jdarts84

    The Reds announced Wednesday that Jared Burton had been option to Louisville and Drew Sutton had been called up from Louisville. This from the Enquirer, and long overdue.

  22. Jared

    I’m with you, Jason. Who are we to not only think we know what people were thinking, but then judge them based on that? On one level, sure, you can consider Joey a hero for dealing with his problems. But on another, I don’t see how you could possibly blame someone for thinking its not that big of a deal. People get depressed every day and other people get over it every day. Coming back was probably easier than taking the time off.

    For the record, I think Joey Votto is awesome and admire him for it. But this thread is reminding me of a perfectly good Friday night that was ruined a neighbor wouldn’t stop harping on me about joining the volunteer fire department.

  23. Y-City Jim

    Sutton called up to sit as Richar starts at 3B tonight. On the bright side, Dickerson is starting in CF and leading off. On the down side, Hairston is starting at SS.

  24. GregD

    They were in Gwinnett yesterday (where?) and play host to Indianapolis for a double header on Thursday.

  25. Dallas

    Votto deserved polite respect and privacy when he needed time off. If someone wants respect and privacy in their absence, they probably don’t want a big deal made about their return. Just a thought.

  26. Steve from NJ

    Votto is a leader and an inspiration. For him to come forward with his problem was courageous. Every man in America should have the guts that Votto has.

  27. JerBear

    Reds fandom in general is kind of in a dead state. For some reason, Cincinnati was one of the cities that never really recovered from the Strike in 94. Maybe a lot of it had to do with the fact that they have had little success after the 94 season…but in 95 they made the playoffs and I remember 30,000 or so being at the playoff games.

    Every once in awhile I run into a fan who has never been back since the strike. Some people say they think the Reds might have won it all that year.

    Not making excuses for us Cincinnati fans…but I think Cincinnati baseball will never be what it used to be. Of course it would be hard to live up to the 70’s teams, but the main fans they’ve lost are the casual fans.

    It would take a run to the World Series like Colorado had the other year for the casual fans to come back I believe.