So far this site has been all about sports, Cleveland sports to be more specific. But is it good to focus primarily on one specific segment of a much larger sporting world? I say no. Every now and then it’s good to branch out and broaden our horizons. We can learn to appreciate different ideas, different people, and different opinions. So, with keeping this idea in mind we are going to venture outside of our bubble that is Cleveland and congratulate Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto on being named NL MVP.
Votto had a break out year with the Reds batting .324 with 37 home runs and 113 RBI. In doing so he led the Reds to their first post season appearance in 15 years. To top things off, Votto was also in the running for the Triple Crown the majority of the season along with Albert Pujols of the Cardinals and Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies. Unfortunately, he fell short of that goal finishing second in batting and third in home runs and RBI. He did lead the National League in slugging percentage and led all of baseball in on base percentage.
About the only thing that didn’t go right for Vottto this year was his initial snubbing from the NL All-Star team. He was eventually voted in by the fans through the MLB Final Vote, but one could say it was probably not his preferred way of making the team. Despite this, Votto continued to produce for the Reds as he helped make Cincinnati baseball relevant again. Most baseball insiders will tell you that baseball is a better sport when the Reds matter.
Despite the story book success of the Reds as a team, it was not enough to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies during the first round of the playoffs. Although the lack of playoff success is a tough pill to swallow, Reds fans can rest easy knowing that they have found what looks like a franchise player for the foreseeable future. This is something the Indians have been struggling to find. At first it was believed to be Grady Sizemore, then Matt LaPorta. The latest horse in that race is Carlos Santana. Time will only tell if he is able to emulate the kind of success Votto has had for the Reds, but so far so good.
Votto won the NL MVP award in convincing fashion. In fact, it’s what people like to call a landslide. He received 31 out of 32 first place votes and 443 overall points. Finishing a distant second was Albert Pujols with 279 points and one first place vote. Carlos Gonzalez finished third with 240 points. Other players who received consideration for the award were the Padres Adrian Gonzalez, the Rockies Troy Tulowitzki, and Phillis pitcher Roy Halladay.
Cincinnati fans should be proud to call Votto their own. I’m a Cleveland fan and I’m proud of him. He put up fantastic numbers and helped make small market baseball relevant again. More importantly, Joey Votto makes me optimistic for the future of the Indians. If him and the Reds can find success after 15 years of mediocrity and close finishes, then why not us?
So congratulations Joey Votto and Reds fans alike. You earned it. And look on the bright side. This is some positive news that should help you forget about how awful the Bengals are once again. Seriously, how do you blow that game to the Bills and more importantly… why do I keep picking them to win? Some questions are better left unanswered.