Author: Bill Baer

Joey Votto, Bill Welke
AP Photo

Joey Votto’s two-game suspension reduced to one game


Last week, Reds first baseman Joey Votto was not home plate umpire Bill Welke’s biggest fan. He had asked for time while standing at home plate and was denied by Welke. Votto motioned to the dugout, ostensibly for manager Bryan Price to talk with Welke, but Votto was promptly ejected, which prompted him to slam his helmet down and get in Welke’s face while yelling.

The outburst originally landed Votto a two-game suspension, but he appealed it. The Reds announced that his suspension has been reduced to one game. He’ll serve that one game Friday night in Milwaukee against the Brewers. Adam Duvall is at first base and batting seventh in Votto’s place against Brewers starter Zach Davies.

Votto, 32, is having an outstanding season, batting .313/.460/.551 with 27 home runs, 73 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases while playing above-average defense. If not for Bryce Harper‘s historically-great year, Votto would merit consideration for the National League Most Valuable Player Award.

Report: Yoenis Cespedes will be searching for at least a six-year deal

Yoenis Cespedes
AP Photo

ESPN’s Marly Rivera interviewed Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight. In that interview, the soon-to-be free agent told Rivera that he will be searching for a contract of at least six years in length.

It’s not a particularly shocking detail, but it does give the Mets an idea of how big of a contract they’d need to offer to keep Cespedes in Queens. The slugger, since joining the Mets, is batting .295/.345/.661 with 17 home runs and 42 RBI. Overall, including his time with the Tigers, he has an .885 OPS, 35 home runs, and 103 RBI. All are career-highs for the 29-year-old.

Cespedes is just about at the end of a four-year, $36 million deal signed with the Athletics in February 2012 after he defected from Cuba. He will be one of the most sought after outfielders in free agency this off-season along with Justin Upton and Jason Heyward.

Video: Jed Lowrie homers in the ninth to complete Astros’ comeback

Jed Lowrie
Getty Images

The Astros were down to their last out, ready to accept a 3-0 loss to the Angels on Sunday. A loss would’ve resulted in a series sweep in L.A. and would have reduced the Astros’ first-place lead in the AL West to a half-game over the Rangers.

Preston Tucker, though, kept hope alive, belting a solo home run to right field off of closer Huston Street. George Springer then tripled, and Jose Altuve brought him in with a single to make it 3-2. The rally continued. Carlos Correa reached on an infield single, pushing the tying run to second base and putting the go-ahead run on first base. Pinch-hitter Jed Lowrie had bigger things in mind, and he sent a 2-1 change-up down the right field line, just past a leaping Kole Calhoun for a three-run home run to put the Astros up 5-3.

Closer Luke Gregerson came on in the bottom of the ninth and retired the Angels in order to seal the win. doesn’t have embed code for the video, so you’ll have to click here to watch it.