Could someone please forward this article to the Reds’ organization? It makes the case, citing numerous examples, for taking the decision out of the player’s hands when it comes to returning after an injury. The Reds owner, GM, Manager and Medical Staff should carefully read this paragraph, in particular:

“The emotional need of wanting to play and being a star always overtakes making a good decision,” said Sharon Stoll, a sports ethics professor at the University of Idaho. “You’d like to think an athlete as intelligent as Robert Griffin III would be able to make that decision. But your humanness prevents you from making that decision. That’s why you need a community of medical authorities to step in and say, ‘No, you’re not [playing].’ The athletes themselves, they can’t do it. There’s too much emotional tie-in.”

We’ll never know how the Reds’ season would have turned out if Joey Votto had received an MRI on June 29 to determine the full extent of his knee injury. Instead, he was allowed to play on it until July 16, including starting at first base for the NL in the All-Star Game. Did he worsen his injury during that time, prolonging his recovery or causing permanent damage? We don’t know.

The Reds played well in Votto’s absence. He returned to the lineup on September 5. The team won the NL Central and were very close to winning the NLCS. Not a bad outcome, overall.

On the other hand, the date of Votto’s final home run in 2012 was June 24.