John Fay writes a pretty lengthy article on the handling of Joey Votto’s knee, some highlights:

“It wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I thought it was important to talk to (trainer) Paul Lessard and (general manager) Walt Jocketty,” he said. “I was feeling great after those four days off at the All-Star break. Then coming back, I was at 85, 95 percent running. It just started swelling up and felt like I tweaked something. It felt like it did back in San Francisco.

“That’s when I knew it was time to go in and talk some more about it. I thought it was handled perfectly. I really do. I got to play in California and I healed. Then my knee told me the truth.”

On not getting the MRI:

“No, all of us players, we deal with things here and there,” he said. “Sometimes, you think you might need some help and then it heals. Other times, you don’t think you need help and it’s serious.

“I was always taught to just stay out of the training room, play as much as you can. When you can play, play. For better or for worse, I think in the long run that’s going to pay off for me and hopefully the Reds.

“I healed really quickly after I got taken out of the game in San Francisco. I did very well. I was very optimistic. I was hoping in was something muscular. It turned out to be a small structural thing.”

He also said that the pennant race was part of it:

“We’re trying to stay in first place and win the division,” he said. “That’s another reason why I thought it was wise to wait it out. Hopefully, it’ll heal and I’ll be able to help the team.”

On the team not requiring him to get an MRI:

“It’s difficult for the organization,” he said. “Initially, they do all the tests they can. They did all the structural tests they could, then strength tests. I passed them all. When a player has trouble and comes in and asks for help, then all of the sudden, it gets to the point where the player is almost back to neutral. It’s hard for an organization to tell a player, ‘we got to get you in.’ Because you’re improving so quickly. And I was improving.

Read the whole article….

In my opinion, the biggest issues are these…it was apparent to fans and broadcasters alike that SOMETHING was wrong with Votto. Why the Reds front office and training staff couldn’t see it and weren’t proactive, is the mystery. Apparently they’d done the structural and strength tests, so why not do the MRI? It costs a couple thousand dollars and takes an hour…shouldn’t you err on the side of caution with your team’s best player and your 10 year – $225M investment?

This is Joey Votto being both a tough player and a good guy and trying to take the heat off the Reds front office and medical staff…