Ron Washington: “I don’t see a lot of joy in Arlington”

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There were over 43,000 people in Arlington last night for the Rangers-Astros game. But apparently a big crowd doesn’t mean a rowdy crowd, and Ron Washington talked about it:

“You look at every other city that has a chance to be in the playoffs right now, there’s joy,” said Washington. “I don’t see a lot of joy in Arlington. I really don’t … I don’t think nobody, when we started losing people, thought that we would be here. We did. We spoiled people because we kept it together. When it looked like it was falling apart…I don’t have to tell y’all what you’ve seen,” said Washington.

Like I said yesterday in the Ludwick post, no one ever wins this “the fans aren’t loud enough” or “the fans aren’t good enough” things. Just a no-win situation. And for what it’s worth, after last year’s collapse and this year’s stagger to the finish line which could very well have the team out of the playoffs, it’d be understandable if Rangers fans are nervous.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.