No one knows what Joey Votto will do in 2024.

Some suspect he will sign a one-year contract with a team other than the Cincinnati Reds and try to keep his career going. Others think he may retire, after determining his age (40) and coming off a major shoulder surgery is too much to overcome.

I think it will be the latter. I hope it will be the former.

As a Reds fan, I have great memories of when he was the best third-place hitter in baseball. It didn’t matter who was pitching; Joey Votto would get his rips. Not only that, Votto was a good guy, a great teammate, and an ambassador for both baseball and the Cincinnati Reds.

But let me pose this question to you, Redleg Nation. If he does retire, how much should the Cincinnati Reds honor a player who is arguably their best of the 21st Century?

Joey Votto came up to the Reds in 2007. His stats speak for themselves: 2,185 hits, 356 home runs, 1,144 runs batted in. He had three 100-plus RBI seasons and walked 1,365 times.

It’s a no-brainer he will be elected into the Reds Hall of Fame. I think we can all agree on that. There will also be a Joey Votto Day, I’m sure, at Great American Ball Park.

But will the Reds retire his #19?

List of Cincinnati Reds with retired numbers

  • Fred Hutchinson #1
  • Johnny Bench #5
  • Joe Morgan #8
  • Sparky Anderson #10
  • Barry Larkin #11
  • Dave Concepcion #13
  • Pete Rose #14
  • Ted Kluszewski #18
  • Frank Robinson #20
  • Tony Perez #24

(Note: Jackie Robinson’s number 47 was retired by MLB in 1997)

My first choice to retire a number would be Vada Pinson, who played center field for the Reds from 1958-1968. That’s nothing against Joey. But Vada would be my first choice.

In baseball, it always go back to numbers, especially for something such as a Hall of Fame induction or to retire a number. The Reds are historically  more stingy in retiring numbers. The Yankees have the most retired numbers with 22. The Reds are at 10. And I would tend to agree with that.

Both Pinson and Votto have very good numbers.

In Vada’s case, he was the better defensive player in an important position– center field. He had speed and was athletic. He combined a good batting average with power. Like Johnny Bench catching, he kept the Reds “off the spot” of getting a top-notch center fielder for a decade. Pinson had four years with over 200 hits (Votto had none), seven years of 20-plus stolen bases, and six years of 20-plus home runs during his career with the Reds.

Neither had impressive post season numbers. Vada was 2 for 22 in the 1961 World Series and Votto batted .244 (10 for 41) with just one RBI and no extra base in four post season appearances.

Votto was selected as a Most Valuable Player in the NL; Pinson was never selected. His best year was overshadowed by Robinson who won the MVP in 1961. Votto was a six-time All-Star, while Pinson was selected four times. Pinson was a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, Votto was once. Both were left-handed hitters. Votto got on base more and he had more years with the Reds.

What say you, Redleg Nation?

Would you retire Joey Votto’s #19?

If not, is there a second option? Or do the Reds stand pat?

153 Responses

  1. Oldtimer

    Too early to retire Votto’s number but Pinson is overdue. The NL was loaded with great OF in 1960s but Pinson was one of them.

    • Old Big Ed

      Pinson was an excellent player. In his first 5 seasons with the Reds, he missed only a handful of games, and led the league in PAs (twice), ABs (twice), runs, hits (twice), doubles (twice), and triples, plus he hit 101 homers and stole 128 bases, while playing a very good centerfield. He slashed .310/.355/.495 over those 5 seasons, and was solid thereafter.

      He is a borderline Hall of Famer, with 54.1 bWAR, 2,757 hits, 256 HRs and 305 SBs. There is a theory out there that Pinson was two years older than his reported age; he was listed as 20 in his first full year with the Reds in 1959. https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/Vada-Pinson/

      Retire both numbers. It would be better if Pinson’s best baseball friend, Frank Robinson, could be there for the retirement for Pinson, who himself died at age 57 in 1995.

      • Captain Redsleg

        They should sign Joey to a minor league contract at the very least and give him a chance to make the team especially since the DH is in the NL now…He needs to retire a Red and play his final season in a Reds uniform plain and simple. HE DESERVES A FAREWELL TOUR AS A RED. THEY SHOULD RETIRE HIS JERSEY AND ADD HIM TO THE REDS HALL OF FAME AS A CURRENT PLAYER

      • Oldtimer

        Frank Robinson is dead for a few years now.

        Pinson is not two years older than listed.

      • Mario

        great article posted above by Big Ed. Pinson was better than I have previously read about. Looks Cooperstown worthy to me. Ok, retire his number. Too bad the man or his good friend Frank can’t be here to see it.

        I won’t lose any sleep if #19 is also retired.

      • Old Big Ed

        Oldtimer, that was a no NS-Sherlock comment about Frank Robinson. His death is why I suggested it would be better if Robinson were able to come to an induction for Pinson. Robinson, Pinson, Curt Flood and Ernie Lombardi all graduated from McClymond High School in Oakland, California.

        I didn’t say that Pinson was 2 years older than listed, but that there was a theory that he was. It is not implausible, given that he signed before his 18th birthday, and that his aging curve started a bit early. Curt Flood, born in the same year and attending the same school, also signed early and had an early aging curve.

    • Bigg Rob

      They could honor him, by resigning him and let his Veteran Presence continue to influence this Young team!!!, Let Him Be DH, or Platoon!!!, Bottom line Joey needs to remain a Red till the Day he decides to hang up his Spikes!!!!

    • Big Red One

      The Reds should retire his number UNLESS he wins a ring with the Dodgers, then no number retired, EVER.

    • Paul Morgan

      Vada is my all time favorite player
      So much under rated. He could do everything. Saw him everything in L A. I remember 2 double headers in L A in 1961. Reds won all 4 games. Vada was great.

  2. Mario

    I’m too young to remember Vada Pinson but those numbers don’t look impressive enough to deserve retiring the number. Not sure about retiring Votto’s number either. Sure wish we would have been able to see him in the playoffs more. The team sure has cheapened the team HOF by inducting guys that didn’t deserve it.

    • Oldtimer

      47.7 WAR in 10 seasons as a Red. 8th most WAR in Reds history. 4th most hits in NL in 1960s.

      • Mario

        hmm, sounds similar to Eric Davis and I don’t see his number retired nor should it be. Larkin was one of my favorites but not a fan of the team retiring his number either but he does have a ring and a place in Cooperstown.

      • Oldtimer

        Look it up first.

        Davis had 30.6 WAR with Reds.

        Pinson had 47.7 WAR.

      • Mario

        I replied to Old Big Ed above. No thanks to you Old School with nothing but smack talk but thanks to Ed for providing us “slightly” younger folks with info on Vada Pinson. Seems HOF worthy to me, too bad he is not around to enjoy a HOF election or jersey retirement.

      • RES

        That’s 4.77 WAR per season. I wonder how that compares to contemporaries, including Aaron & Mays, during that decade.

  3. Jedi Joey

    I’m not a fan of retiring numbers. How much longer until the Yankees run out of numbers? I do like the idea of retiring jerseys and HOF status for all time great players like Joey Votto for each team. I do think the Reds should do a proper sendoff for Joey when he truly is ready to retire.

    • Mario

      yes! The team can hang the jersey in the stadium and honor the man without actually retiring the number. Retiring a number should be for legends. I don’t think Vada Pinson, Joey Votto, Eric Davis, Mario Soto, etc achieved legendary status.

      • Doug Gray

        Here are the Cincinnati Reds players with more WAR as a Red than Joey Votto:

        Pete Rose
        Johnny Bench
        Barry Larkin

        That’s the list.

        If you don’t think he’s a Reds legend then I think you need to re-evaluate your criteria.

      • Mario

        I guess I am not in love with the WAR stat. He’s been absolutely great hitter – HOF worthy – and not appreciated enough in this town (my father included) . I would like to have seen him with some rings although that is not his fault. I just don’t like retiring numbers. NFL has a difficult time with this as well. Numbers can be honored and hung from the rafters and not retired. The Big Red Machine won the hardware (legendary status and sustained success) and deserved to have those guy’s numbers retired.

      • Doug Gray

        They don’t retire numbers for teams, and in the sport of baseball, it takes a team to win the hardware. This isn’t the NBA or NFL where a great player or a great quarterback can carry a team.

      • Seth

        Are you joking Joey votto not a legend,being a legend is more than just numbers, it’s about having the respect of your teammates and the fans. If you don’t think Joey’s a legend watch the reds last home game 40,000 fans on their feet cheering for one man Joey votto

    • greenmtred

      When they run out of numbers perhaps they’ll have to disband the team.

  4. LDS

    Sign him to a minor league contract with an invite to ST. If he can hit .200, give him a short farewell tour with the Reds until about June 1st. Then let him retire gracefully.

    • MK

      He isn’t stupid. He had to know 2023 was it, especially by August. So, he had an opportunity for a farewell tour and didn’t take it. One thing working against Vada’s legacy is his era, the 60’s which included Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Robinson,Brock, Mantle, Maris, Kaline, etc. He was really overshadowed by other outfielders of his time. Just, as Votto has been by Pujols and Cabrera.

      To say Votto is the best Reds player of the 21st century is very true, but honestly that isn’t a real high bar.

      I think there should be a Votto Day but also a Brandon Phillips Day. Wonder which would sell the most additional tickets.

    • Colorado Red

      No
      the Reds are trying to make the playoffs this year.
      DO NOT need Joey to mess that up.
      He is a hall of famer, but not the player he used to me.
      I would hate to have in strike out in several games, and just miss the playoffs.

      • Votto4life

        “I would hate to have in strike out in several games, and just miss the playoffs”

        Especially since they are going to pay Candelario $15 Million a year to do that.

      • LDS

        The Reds clearly aren’t trying to make the playoffs. That’s a fan fantasy.

      • Colorado Red

        How many running did Votto move over with less then 2 outs last year.
        How many sacrifice flies did he hit?
        0
        Two years, when Farmer over ran 2nd (I think it was Farmer), Joey did not move of off 3rd, and guaranteed an out.
        That is no longer a team player.
        We do not need Votto on this team any more.
        I would not mind retiring his Jersey, he was a great Reds player, but those days are gone.
        Cheers.

      • greenmtred

        Well in that case, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

      • LDS

        @greenmtred – that’s one of the things wrong with the state of the world. No one expects excellence any longer. The Reds are an exemplar of the today’s mediocrity culture.

      • greenmtred

        I disagree, LDS, and I think that the Reds are trying to achieve excellence, but they’re doing that by acquiring and developing young talent. It’s a gamble, to be sure. Banking on an expensive FA pitcher would also be a gamble.

    • Paul Morgan

      Are you nuts? Votto is a true HOF.

  5. Jerry McClain

    I think if he gets in the MLB hall of fame then you retire his number. He deserves the reds hall of fame and a Joey Votto day for sure. He will always be one of the greatest.

  6. Old-school

    1.) Sign him to a 1 day contract so he can retire a Red.
    2.) Have a Joey Votto day at GABP on a summer Saturday game. Make it the hottest ticket in town.
    3.) Retire #19 jersey at said JV appreciation day
    4.) Have him join the TV booth once a month for a broadcast and a road trip of his choosing.
    5.) Let him do a once a week or once a month segment at his interest level interviewing players and talking about the intricacies and nuances of playing the game- preparing for certain situations/match-ups/facing certain pitchers/hitters/ball parks/teams.
    6.) Make him a regular at Redsfest and Reds caravan going forward.

    • CFD3000

      Except for retiring his number so quickly, I like this package Old School. They can retire his number when he goes into the Reds HoF or even the Baseball HoF. He’s been a hard working, engaging, sincere ambassador for baseball and the Reds. Here’s hoping he finds a new role to continue that with the Cincinnati Reds.

    • A.B.

      7.) Enroll him in the jelly of the month club.

    • Colorado Red

      So, who do we DFA to do this?

      I would agree with the rest of the items.
      But I would not have him play.

  7. CFD3000

    If he retires (I think that’s unlikely but perhaps no team will take a chance on him) then the Reds should absolutely have a Joey Votto day in 2024. I do not think they should retire his number on that day. Too soon. But he will of course go into the Reds Hall of Fame and very likely the Baseball Hall of Fame. Perhaps not on the first ballot, but eventually. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t. Somewhere in there an opportunity will come to retire his number and honor him again. The Castellini’s or whoever owns the team will be happy for another big gate. In the meantime I don’t think the Reds will or should identify any new employees #19.

    As to Pinson, you make a strong case for retiring his number John. But they are unrelated questions. There’s no reason to wait on 19 until 28 has been retired. Nor to wait on 28 until 19 is retired. But for a franchise that does a pretty good job of honoring former greats, and has one of if not the best team halls of fame, eventually honoring both does not dilute the honor, it enhances it.

    In the meantime my dream scenario is that Votto gets back to full strength, signs a minor league deal with the Reds, hits the cover off the ball in AAA, returns to Cincinnati to man the DH spot after inevitable injuries, and helps lead the Reds to a deep playoff run in 2024. Since it’s free with no repercussions to type things like that in the interwebs.

  8. Jerry Tracey

    I’m OK with those in the Reds HOF, most are in the real HOF. I am old enough (78), to have watched Vada play several times. In those days, the Reds games were rarely on TV. So a bus ride from Price Hill to Crosley Field was not a big thing. This was also the time of 8 teams in the National League. So Pinson was playing against some very strong competition for that time.

  9. Votto4life

    Perhaps they could just leave him alone. He has said when he retires he wants to live a quiet life out of the spotlight. A “Joey Votto Day” would just put more cash in Bob and Phil’s greedy little pockets.

    • CI3J

      But at the same time, I think the fans would really appreciate one last chance to say goodbye to one of the greatest Reds players of all time. I think Votto might also appreciate it just to provide closure as well.

      Right now, things feel unsettled. For as much as Votto did for the Reds, and the fact he was a Reds lifer like Larkin, it doesn’t feel right to just have him unceremoniously kicked to the curb. I think everyone involved would like one last bit of closure.

      • Votto4life

        The Reds have already kicked him to the curb so any type of celebration they sponsor would be very disingenuous IMO. Now, if the City of Cincinnati wants to honor him, then I am all for that.

      • BK

        LOL … the Reds have paid him $260M+, including a $7M buyout. Would somebody please kick me to the curb in like manner?

      • Votto4life

        BK if you could hit like Joey Votto someone would have but alas, you don’t. By the way, he would have likely made more money if he took to the open market after 6 years like he should have done

      • BK

        V4L, Joey very graciously thanked the Reds and the fans. He was not kicked to the curb. The Reds were very good to him, and he has publicly and genuinely acknowledged as much. Conversely, he was an awesome player. He was NOT kicked to the curb.

      • Votto4life

        BK that is your opinion and not mine. Have a good evening.

      • BK

        @V4L, no, that’s Votto’s publicly stated opinion … not mine.

      • MK

        Quarter of a Billion isn’t a bad thank you. The Reds should have allowed him to leave before signing to 10-year contract. The Cards did it right with Pujols and were competitive afterward. The Reds have not been. For all the things Dick Williams was criticized for, that contract had more to do with the Reds mediocrity than anything he did. That isn’t Joe’s fault, any of us would have taken the money, but it was a mistake.

      • VaRedsFan

        BK is correct.
        Joey constantly thanked the Reds and the fans for everything. There was no curb-kicking.

      • VaRedsFan

        @MK … 5 of the last 6 seasons for Votto were substatially sub-par. Certainly, the last 2 were injury related, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was not good.

      • Michael

        @varedsfan.

        5 of his last six years were subpar???? At bare minimum 2018 and 2021 were well above average and then I guess the debate on 2020 would be if a 107 OPS plus was subpar.

      • Colorado Red

        Bottom line, Votto is no longer any good.
        Old Man time wins every time, and Joey is is victim.
        The Reds do not need Joey back, any more. He is not worth it.
        V4L, Votto is not longer the great player he used to be.
        So, if we put him on the roster, we need to DFA someone. That would not be a good move.
        Time to move on.

      • Greenfield Red

        I agree MK. 10 year contracts to 30 year old baseball players should not happen… at least in Cincinnati. The Reds have had 2 of them in the 21st century. What have the won? Nothing.

        From a win-loss standpoint, I think the Dodgers will regret the Ohtani contract. They may come out ok from a marketing standpoint, but at 8 million per WAR, he would need to generate 87.5 WAR in his 30s to break even. I don’t see that happening. Heck, he’s already hurt and has a history of injuries.

    • Paul Morgan

      I am also 78. Been a Red fan since little league. My father was chaplain for the Reds at age 19. Powell Crosley sponsored my date through Bible College, Cincinnati Bible Seminary, 1933 th 1937. Had my dad and my uncle Paul work with team from 1933 th 1945.
      Vada is my favorite player ever, he gave me his glove in 1961.

  10. doofus

    I honor the heroes that have truly sacrificed for others, not well compensated baseball players.

  11. doofus

    On another note over on mlb.com, Anthony Castrovince has predicted that David Bell will earn the NL Manager of the Year award in 2024. 1, 2, 3…..

    • LDS

      Thanks @doofus, I needed a good laugh. Though one note, winning an award and deserving it are two different things.

      • greenmtred

        You’re going to get the coveted Fan With the Most Positive Attitude at the same ceremony, LDS.

      • LDS

        @greenmtred, that would be the fan that doesn’t applaud mediocrity. Unlike many here, I didn’t think Votto and the rest coming off the payroll meant the Reds would go for it and sign some impactful players. Sadly, thus far I’ve been right. I’m not impressed with the off-season signing so far. As the various projections indicate, the Reds are shooting for 4th place, maybe 3rd. It was a decision the organization made at trade deadline when they chose to extend Bell instead of acquiring the help the team needed. Castellini knows the fans will come out to watch the young guys as they did last year. He makes more money. Period.

    • Captain redsleg

      Sorry I think Ole David Bell will continue to cost is games. He is not manager of the year material in my book…..BUT I could be wrong

  12. Daytonnati

    Another question: will there ever be a statue of Joey in the plaza outside GABP?

    So far, with the exception of Nuxie, all statues are of MLB HoF Reds, so Larkin should be next. Does Joey get one if he does not make Cooperstown?

    • Harry Stoner

      If I’m not mistaken, isn’t there a statue of Rose as well?

      I’m all for more bronze statues: Larkin for sure. Votto, of course.

      If an artist could capture just the right Brandon Phillips moment, with that smile intact…that would be great.

      • Doug Gray

        Unfortunately, yes, there is a statue of him.

      • Jedi Joey

        I choose to celebrate Pete the ballplayer and not the human. Truth be told a great deal of ballplayers aren’t role models.

      • Doug Gray

        There’s a difference when we know for a fact about their transgressions versus just assuming they’ve got some.

      • Jedi Joey

        I don’t disagree Doug but I personally don’t know these ballplayers. I do know what they do on the field. I’m a fan of the player and not their personal life. The truth is Pete Rose was one of the greatest hitters of all time. Personal transgressions doesn’t take that away.

      • Doug Gray

        But it should take away celebrating him and honoring him.

      • Jedi Joey

        Nah, it doesn’t. Many won’t agree with you and many won’t agree with me. Such is life. I choose to celebrate his baseball career.

      • Jedi Joey

        Now that I think about it. I guess in the end it only matters if the Reds choose to honor him or not. Our opinions don’t matter just like signing players or making trades. It still makes it fun to discuss though! ha ha

      • Oldtimer

        I worked with the brother-in-law of #14 at factory in OTR during summers 1969 to 1974. I was labor. He was truck driver.

        You have no idea. Good hitter. Not a good person. Not close.

      • Jedi Joey

        @Old Timer, I can only imagine the stories you heard about Pete from his BIL during that time. Oh boy!

  13. MBS

    It’s way to early to figure this stuff out. He hasn’t retired yet. Typically the honors we’re talking about are done in retrospect, not in the moment.

    It’s obvious he had a great career, and will get a bunch of love from the organization, and fan base in the future.

    • Jedi Joey

      I don’t disagree Doug but I personally don’t know these ballplayers. I do know what they do on the field. I’m a fan of the player and not their personal life. The truth is Pete Rose was one of the greatest hitters of all time. Personal transgressions doesn’t take that away.

    • Rednat

      I think the best old school comparison to Joey is Concepcion. Davey was the great fielder who could also be an effective hitter. Votto was the great hitter that coyld be an effective fielder. Both fan favorites and class acts and career reds

      • VaRedsFan

        Correct about the hitter…wrong about the fielder.

  14. Optimist

    I believe Vada is at or near the top of the list of qualifiers not in the HOF. His son is on social media and frequently shares items from his career.

    A favorite anecdote is when he first arrived to the Reds (age 19) a local sportswriter was speaking very slowly and loudly to him, thinking he didn’t understand English. He is part of the legendary alum of Oakland McClymonds HS. IIRC there may be a similar story about Tito Francona (he’s from Pittsburgh).

    He and Joey will both likely get in the HOF – Joey after a few ballots, Vada via the veterans group vote.

    • Oldtimer

      Curt Flood also from McClymonds. Ernie Lombardi, too.

  15. Beaufort Red

    Pinson is long overdue. Not a good look if nobody wants to sign Votto. I wish he would had retired after this past season. May have not wanted to go against Miggy for the HOF.

  16. Tim

    The way you honor or not those who have served in a great way over a significant amount of time either serves as an incentive or disincentive for those who come after. The Reds have a 143 year history and Joey has been their best player for 20 of those. He also has excellent numbers and has been the face and personality of the team for many years. Retire his number and encourage those who follow him to emulate his success.

  17. Beaufort Red

    Joey Votto joined the Reds in 2007. Unless it’s 2027 I don’t think he’s played for the Reds for 20 years. He hasn’t even been the best player the last 2 years.

    • Greenfield Red

      I was trying to be smart and totally messed it up:

      2X – 14 = 4256.

  18. Jason Linden

    This is a silly debate. Joey is one of the best players in Reds history and MUCH better than Pinson. He’s better than a fair few who’ve had their numbers retired. His number will be retired sooner or later. I think it should be when he officially retires. But if the Reds want to wait until he’s elected to the MLB HOF, that’s fine.

    • west larry

      Jason – Pinson was really good too. Overshadowed by Mays. Mantle and Snyder, but he was really good.

      • Oldtimer

        Clemente and Flood, too. Flood was 6X All-Star CF.

    • JON

      Glad you said it. Don’t even compare the 2. 100% agree.

    • Old Big Ed

      Votto wasn’t “MUCH better that Pinson,” though. It’s no knock on Votto, either, but an acknowledgment that Pinson was an excellent player. Votto is certainly a much better hitter, but Pinson had a much better glove and a far better set of wheels.

      In their top 8 seasons for the Reds, Votto (2010-17) accumulated bWAR of 48.0. In Pinson’s best 8 seasons (1959-66) , he accumulated 42.6 bWAR.

      Votto is better, but I think many of you young Turks do not appreciate how good Vada Pinson was. Pinson was a MUCH better version of Reggie Sanders.

      • Oldtimer

        Well stated and supported with facts. Vitto has 4th most WAR as a Red. Pinson had 8th most WAR as a Red.

  19. Rhein Trumpet

    I think Joey would be a HUGE hit in Japan. He could rebuild his value by convincing those with doubts (even himself!). On top of that, I am planning on attending some games in Japan in May and would adjust my schedule accordingly. Just sayin’!

  20. Melvin

    Votto is a Reds legend for sure. No doubt in my mind that they should retire his number if he makes the MLB Hall Of Fame. I’d love for him to somehow end his career with the Reds.

  21. RedsMonk65

    Yes. After officially retired, Votto should be in the Reds’ Hall of Fame. And his number retired. Same for Larkin — overdue. No brainers. As for Pinson, I could go either way, but lean toward yes.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Larkin is already in the Reds Hall of Fame (inducted 2008) and his number 11 has already been retired by the team.

  22. Rob

    Joey says he is playing one more year. While it won’t be with the Reds, I would think at least 1 of the 29 other teams will make him offer. His demand of being an everyday player may however work against him. For some reason, he seems to have a hard time accepting his limited value. He was one of the greatest Reds players of all time and I have no idea why he is going down this road. I think he may eventually find a landing spot as a coach, special assistant, or announcer but I am concerned that his playing career is over. He had every chance last year to make a graceful exit but chose not to.

    • CFD3000

      Is Votto (or his agent) on record as “demanding” a spot where he can play every day? I understand and respect his ambition to play every day – every hitter wants to play every day. And Votto knows full well that he needs to play well enough to earn that role. And if he’s hoping to sign with a team that doesn’t already have a regular, top level player at 1B and/or DH then fine, but I’d be stunned if he’s somehow demanding to play every day. He’ll either earn it or he won’t, but nobody including the Reds is going to give him any regular playing time he hasn’t earned.

  23. DaveCT

    I’d hope whatever the club elects to do in honoring Votto has a parallel of Marty Brennamen apologizing to Joey for the non-stop attacks on Joey’s approach to hitting. How the club did not intervene with Brennamen and tell him to keep his biases to himself is an unanswered question. Failure to protect a player says a lot about an organization.

    • Greenfield Red

      DaveCT, I’m no Votto fan, but I agree with this. JV was taking a lot of walks from the #3 hole. It would be the Reds job to have a #4 & #5 hitter that kept that from happening. As I recall, that year his OBP was over .400. We certainly don’t more guys swinging at balls out of the zone.

      • VaRedsFan

        But we did want him swinging at hittable strikes in the zone….which he chose not to do for a lot of years until 2017, when he went back to being 2010 Votto.

  24. west larry

    Way off topic-sorry -Giolitto signed with the red sox.

    • VaRedsFan

      2 yrs – 38.5 million.

      Seems like a fair price
      I wouldn’t have minded him, but the MLB Network guys were very down on him.

      • Jason Franklin

        He would have been eaten alive at GABP. Like Eric Milton 2.0 or Luke Weaver, the sequel. Many, many homers.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        I want to know what happened after he left Chicago. He went from good to Eric Milton overnight.

      • Oldtimer

        Reds won 12 of 21 games started by Weaver. 57% wins.

        Reds won 70 of 141 games started by others. 50% wins.

      • Greenfield Red

        Less than the 2/44 that was predicted.

  25. RedsMonk65

    In more general terms: Stats need perspective. 1960s numbers do not equal, nor should be compared to, 2000s numbers, despite what many believe. The game is different now, and much more specialized. Players like Lou Brock — and yes, Pete Rose — among many others, were certainly great players and warrant recognition as such.

    If we start (as some do) evaluating the accomplishments of past players based upon personal behavior (however abhorrent. or even criminal — e.g. Ruth, Cobb, to name only two), where does that leave you and I, whether baseball players or not? Hmmm?

    Let’s award baseball players based on ability/talent/accomplishments respective to their eras. God can (and does) have the rest.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Well put, RedsMonk65…well put.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      No. I don’t think being good at your job means I should only look at you through that lens and perspective. Just as people can judge me for my actions and decisions I will do the same thing. Make better decisions if you would prefer to not have people judge you in a poor way.

      • RedsMonk65

        While I see your point, you are not a professional athlete (presumably). In terms of professional performance, one who is should be evaluated professionally based upon his/her professional accomplishments. Not on his/her moral failings — when it comes to things like the “Hall of Fame,” at least. For example, in my previous life, I was recognized with several professional awards–whether warranted or not. But I certainly don’t warrant any recognition morally — quite the opposite, actually.

  26. Jason Franklin

    My brain keeps hurting more and more that I read about how Votto wasn’t that good or that he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Some will say that he didn’t win a World Series therefore he is not that great. Or that he didn’t hit 500 homers or get 3000 hits. If we look at the time period he played (which is what should be used as a measurement of his talent), then there is no way he is not inducted into the Hall or have his number retired. His WAR is top 12 for first basemen of all time. His OPS his ranks 36th all time. One MVP award, many top 10 finishes too. Plus he is number 4 in Reds career all-time for WAR. Second in team history in OPS. There are no reasons he does not eventualy make the Hall (maybe third or 4th year) or have his number retired.

    • David

      Henry Aaron was part of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves WS team, although that team also had a LOT of other talented players. So…you can’t say the Hank “won” the 1957 World Series, as he was a very young player with the Braves at the time.
      They lost the WS in 1958 with Hank….and that was the last post -season game for Hank until 1969, when the Braves won the new NL West division, and lost to the Mets in the playoffs (Hank hit well in the NLCS against the Mets). Henry finished his career with the Brewers, but still went in to the HOF as a Brave, and the Braves always featured Henry as their Hero, even though he played his last year with the Brewers, in Milwaukee.
      Joey hitting (or not hitting) in the playoff games he was was in could have made a difference, especially in 2012, when they arguably had a better team than the Giants, who eventually won the WS. But the games are played on the field, and the Reds went cold and lost….at home.
      Joey is and has been a great guy, and deserves to have a Day with the Reds in 2024 honoring him. And yes, I very much doubt anyone signs him to a contract to play in 2024. Everybody has the same scouting reports, and I don’t think any team will pay a couple o’ million to sign on a 40 year old first baseman with a bum shoulder.
      Vada Pinson was also a great guy, besides being a standout CF, and very good hitter. He probably kept mercurial Frank Robinson from getting into more trouble than he did in Cincy…in those days.
      When I was a little kid, I could hear the games on the radio from the house next door (during the summer) when the windows were open. My bedroom window faced the old neighbors dining room, where our older neighbor (he was closest to being my grandpa…he was a sweet old guy) listened to the Reds every night in his rocker. I thought for a long time his name was “Beta” Pinson. Those were the days when Waite Hoyt did the radio broadcast for the Reds.
      If the Reds were mine, I would retire Vada Pinson’s number, not because he was just so awesome, but because he was really good (he was! excellent CF, and really good hitter), and a really well liked ball player and a good guy (unlike the modern opinions on Pete Rose, who was ….a schmuck, really) . It would mean a lot to some fans, and to his family, too.
      I think there are still a few of his team mates still alive….Tony Perez, Leo Cardenas and Tommy Helms. I think Vada was on the 1968 team that had a rookie named Bench on it. And Pete.
      When Pete was moved from 2nd base to the outfield, he quipped that he was integrating the outfield, with Vada and Frank out there too.

      • Oldtimer

        Pete moved to OF in 1967. Robinson was traded in 1965.

        But Rose, Pinson, and Harper were starting OF in 1967.

      • David

        Right, sorry. I knew he went to RF to start, and that was where Frank played until he was traded.
        Tommy Harper, another really talented player that ended up somewhere else than with the Reds.

        Frank Robinson and Pete were good friends, and remained so after Frank was traded from Cincy.

      • Oldtimer

        The 1967 trade of Harper by Howsam was poor in terms of results. Harper played 15 more years in MLB. Reds got George Culver for 2 years, Fred Whitfield for 1, and some other minor leaguer whose name escapes me.

        It did clear LF for Alex Johnson in 1968 and 1969.

  27. Ben

    Please please please hire him as hitting coach.

    • RES

      I don’t know if he can coach hitting, although Will Benson certainly thinks Votto helped turn his year around. It is not impossible that he wouldn’t want the travel involved if he isn’t playing.

      If he’s willing to take it on he seems like he’d be great in the Gordy Coleman Reds Ambassador role.

      Of course, as a coach, special assistant, Reds ambassador or broadcaster he’d likely get a ring should the team ever win the Series.

  28. RES

    I remember Pinson with pleasure, one of the benefits of being old, I guess. His numbers need to be evaluated in the context of his time, when 20+ home runs was a decent amount, and walks were far less common than today. A quick check shows that #28 had an OPS of 810 with the Reds, so that ain’t nothing. For the decade of the 60s Pinson was in the top 10 in the following categories:
    Games Played – 1,516
    At Bats – 6,086
    Runs Scored – 885
    Hits – 1,776
    Doubles – 310
    Triples – 93
    Stolen Bases – 202

    In the 2001 edition of his Historical Baseball Abstract Bill James ranked Pinson 18th among centerfielders.

    • David

      The 1960’s were an era dominated by pitching. After the 1968 season, the league lowered the mounds, to take some of the advantage away from the pitchers.
      The guys that could hit and hit well in that decade have to be looked at in a different light. I think Vada’s best year he hit 0.343, which is better than any present Red, including Joey Votto.

      • RES

        I’ve long believed that the records ought reflect the lower mound just as they recognize the Deadball Era. Lowering the mound probably increased strain on pitchers’ arms and certainly affected the ‘shape’ of pitches, significantly changing the angle of delivery.

        Glad you made that point.

  29. Melvin

    If no other team signs Votto I like the idea some have mentioned for him signing a minor league contract if he’s willing. If he really believes he still has good things left “in the tank” ( and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised) it would seem that he WOULD be good with that. If he’s tears if up in AAA and earns it…..bring him back. If he CAN’T do well in AAA it would seem that would show him that it’s time to retire. Sounds like the perfect plan to me.

  30. TR

    As a lifetime Red’s fan, who is not really interested in advanced baseball stats, I remember Robby and Vada in the late fifties and mid-sixties covering left and center fields at Crosley, with that quirky terrace, with confidence and providing an explosive offense that made the Reds competitive in the old 8 team NL. Frank Robinson, of course, is in Cooperstown. Vada Pinson should be in the Red’s HOF.

    • Old Big Ed

      Pinson was elected to the Reds HOF in 1977.

  31. Still a Red

    Retire both numbers. But first, there must be other players in the Reds 140+ years that should warrant retiring their numbers.

    • Greenfield Red

      Will this quiet the naysayers? Probably not. But there is the is rotation starter we’ve all been talking about

      • Optimist

        Kaboom! And, a Boras client. And, and, a one-year deal.

        They can even afford another one-year deal like this to hedge against flop or injury.

        Plenty of FA talent left.

      • LDS

        Why should it quiet anyone? It’s potentially a signing with an upside but the guy pitched 1.1 innings last season and the Reds paid him essentially twice last year’s salary. If the Reds get the Montas from 2021, it’s probably worth it. If they get the Montas of 2022-2023, then no, it wasn’t worth it. Even if he works out, they still need a high leverage reliever and more power in the OF.

    • Colorado Red

      Nice bounce back guy. 1 year deal 15 – 16 Mil.

      44 on mlb trade rumors list.

      Montas is an upside play coming off a season and a half lost to a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery. The right-hander flashed mid-rotation ability from 2018-19. His ’19 campaign was cut short by an 80-game suspension after a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance Ostarine. He struggled during the abbreviated 2020 season before putting together his first full campaign of above-average results in 2021….

    • Ahimsa

      Wonder how many innings they can get from him this year. Looks like he’s pitched 40 innings the past two years.

  32. Rednat

    Great topic and banter today on Rln. I was born in 1949 and have been watching the reds a long time. I think Pinson was one of the greatest reds to ever play. Always in the lineup. Played hard,ran hard,great centerfielder. He could dominate the game in many ways. Not quite the power of Robinson but just as valuable to the team. I have him in the top tier of the reds greats along with Rose,Robinson,Bench,Morgan.

    I love Votto and certainly he is the greatest red of this century but i think he is in the second tier of the reds greats along with Larkin,Davis,Perez,Concepcion, Parker,Foster.

    Again great topic

  33. Jeremiah

    I don’t think I quite think of Votto in that top elite tier of Reds greats like Bench, Rose, Morgan…and really who is making those tiers haha I guess just Reds fans on here. But he’s close. I think mainly him not playing on great teams keeps him from being thought of in the tope 4-5 Reds of all time. But who really cares on tiers and those things.

    I’m curious how much Votto would want to be involved with the Reds and if there is mutual interest. Would he want to be part of the broadcast crew…I really don’t know, he’s an interesting guy. Maybe he sees this as a chapter of his life and kind of moves on from Cincinnati. Not really sure what he is thinking…or maybe he is more interested in being part of like the MLB Network…he’ll have opportunities if he desires them in media I’m sure.

    Reds will honor him in a respectful way I’m sure. I wouldn’t be against his number being retired at some point, we’ll see.

    • Jeremiah

      When I say “who really cares” Rednat I do think it’s an interesting discussion, didn’t mean to discount the tier thought, sorry that didn’t come out right from me. I think it is a fun conversation. Eddie Taubensee would be in a tier of mine just because I loved esepcially his 99 season though!

      • RES

        I understood you to be saying that the Reds will Red no matter what we say here. Gripe all you will about the Castellini reign, they’ve done a good job of bringing back former fan favorites and recognizing Reds roots for the fans.

    • RES

      Votto’s achievements have to be considered in light of the absence of significant help in the lineup. Other than the season with Shin-Soo Choo I can’t recall all that much synergy in the lineup around Votto. The BRM had monsters all through the lineup for several years, which helps the numbers.

      Would Votto had been such an On Base machine if he’d had a JB or George Foster batting fourth? Or would have amassed a much higher RBI total? We can but speculate.

  34. vegastypo

    Always appreciate showing love for guys like Pinson. This generation has no clue how good he really was.

  35. Rednat

    Hey Jermiah that is what makes baseball so great. We can argue these topics for days. My father ,if he was still alive, would argue Ernie Lombardi was the greatest catcher the reds ever had,oh and the 1940 reds team was just as good if not better than the brm era teams. This is what truly makes baseball the great American past time. So many stats and anecdotal stories tompare and contrast.

  36. Billy

    They should honor him by bringing him back and letting him retire a Red. Bring him back as a player and as a coach.