Joey Votto: solo homer, solo homer, walkoff grand slam

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Let’s see Josh Hamilton match this one.

Already with two solo homers on the day, Joey Votto hit a walkoff grand slam off Henry Rodriguez to give the Reds a 9-6 win over the Nationals on Sunday.

It was just the second homer to a left-handed batter allowed by Rodriguez in 112 2/3 career innings. He entered the day with a 2.45 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings this season.

Votto, on the other hand, was suffering from a serious power outage this season. The 2010 NL MVP had homered just twice in 108 at-bats, though he did have 15 doubles. It was certainly only a matter of time before he started clearing some fences, but three in one day was rather unexpected. It was his second career three-homer game, as well as his second career grand slam and third career walkoff homer.

The comeback today prevented the Reds from being swept at home. They’re one game over .500 at 17-16 for the season.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.