Here’s why Reds slugger Joey Votto snubbed the team’s third base coach during his home run trot on Monday.
Professional baseball players have feelings, too. That’s what Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto wanted to get across in a post-game interview on his first game back from injury.
Votto made his 2023 season debut after 10 months of rehabbing his surgery, and boy, was Cincinnati happy to see him at the plate. Greeted with a standing ovation, the 2010 NL MVP hit a homer along with a two-run single to push the Reds to a 5-4 win over the Rockies on Monday night.
That marks the Reds’ ninth consecutive win and counting, and a few more dominant performances from Votto could set Cincinnati on course to break its all-time winning streak record (they won 10 in a row in 2012).
But we’re not here to talk about Votto’s stats or the Reds’ magical mid-season run. What was up with Votto’s home run trot celebration in Monday’s game?
After smacking the ball out of the park in the fifth inning, Votto confidently jogged around the bases, but when he rounded third, he didn’t give the Reds base coach, J.R. House, a high-five. Ouch.
Apparently, Votto was angry that the coach had ghosted him this past year.
Here’s what Votto said of that moment:
“He’s so friendly when I’m in uniform playing for the team. But I got to third base and I was like, ‘I’m not giving you a high-five. You haven’t even acknowledged my existence for the past half year.’”
Joey Votto explains home run trot celebration
Votto had not homered since last August, when he decided to get surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and biceps in his left arm. Initial projections had Votto returning to the lineup in time for Opening Day of the 2023 season, but after a disappointing spring training debut, Votto bounced around on two different injured lists and minor league assignments.
He was finally activated this past Monday, scheduled to bat sixth and play first base. Surrounded by stiff competition in the Reds’ powerful hitters, Votto looked like he was right at home from his first at-bat.
The more traditional part of Votto’s home run celly involved his teammates bestowing a Vikings helmet and draping a cape on him, as was the procedure for all Reds’ home run hitters.
This day meant something extra special to Votto, who could help the Reds make the playoffs for the second time since 2013. He chose to share it with his fellow teammates, his fans, and everybody part of the Reds’ organization — except for the third base coach. Don’t ghost Joey Votto.