Of all the things baseball has going against it these days — and there are a lot of things — its glaring lack of a mustache-twirling heel is probably pretty far down the list in terms of importance. But Reds first baseman Joey Votto is doing what he can.
Here’s Exhibit A, from Wednesday’s game against the Giants in San Francisco.
Votto seems to delight in tormenting the swells when the Reds are on the road. Earlier this year in Philadelphia (obviously), he had some fun with the close-in fans, especially one Phillies supporter who was razzing him over his allegedly small feet (he wears a size 13, if that matters).
He was entirely pleased with himself, as any good heel is.
Votto continued to produce as the game wore on:
And then he trolled the fan he had just punked, mimicking his demand for the ball.
Some may say he’s being a jerk here, but I won’t. Baseball is supposed to be a fun game, and Votto is doing what he can to make baseball fun again (minus the hat).
“A high percentage of the guys and ladies and kids on the first-base side were smiling and laughing,” Votto said after the Phillies game. “Fair game. I happened to pop in during the game and on TV the theme was I didn’t give a ball to a kid, which is definitely not the case. I made a point to not give a ball to an adult that was giving me a hard time. So be it.”
Asked for his response to fans who think he’s over the line here, Votto was succinct: “Too bad.”
And then he finished with a flourish.
“I have no problems with any of the Philly fans, except for the Philly fan kids,” he said, smiling. “I can’t stand kids here. Kids drive me crazy, Philly fans especially.”