After Jim Day interviewed Votto during the postgame, and Votto indicated that it was news to him that the Reds are 3 1/2 games back in the NL Central because he doesn’t keep up with the standings, the following dialogue took place between Thom and Chris Welsh.
Thom: Chris, were you a little surprised by that answer – “that’s news to me we’re 3 1/2 games out of first place?”
Chris: Not at all. You know what, I think if you took a poll of all the players that are in that clubhouse, about half of them probably don’t even know what they’re hitting. … They’re in there (the clubhouse) reading the sports page, playing games …
OK, stop right there, Chris. We’ve indicated previously that we are big-time Chris Welsh fans and that your analysis as a color commentator during Reds games is very insightful. And anyone – anyone – who talks for three hours straight is going to say a few things during that time that make them sound like they’re on crack. (Just ask Bobby Valentine.) But if, in fact, Reds players are reading the sports page in the clubhouse (which, by the way, our friends at The Enquirer will be delighted to hear), does that mean they go out of their way to skip anything baseball-related that appears in the sports page? They have no clue where their team is in the NL Central standings and what they’re hitting? Not buying it. I’m not calling Votto’s bluff, exactly, because I think it’s possible he didn’t realize they picked up a full game with Monday’s win. (Heck, if you saw the post-game interview with Dusty, he didn’t even know the Reds face Kershaw tomorrow.) But I’m pretty sure Votto and his teammates know that the Brewers and the Cardinals are ahead of them and have a rough idea of how many games ahead they are. I’m pretty sure Bruce knew he was having a huge May before he won NL Player of the Month honors. I’m pretty sure Gomes knows he’s hitting .208. I’m pretty sure Stubbs knows he’s leading the league in strikeouts. Or maybe those guys are part of the half of the clubhouse that pays attention a little and does pick up a stat sheet every now and then.
Not buying it, Welshie, but we still love you, amigo.
As an aside, how cool was it that a Reds fan appeared to catch Votto’s home-run ball on the fly. Good stuff!
UPDATE: Here are Joey’s post-game comments…