A couple years ago, Reds first baseman Joey Votto had some fun at Phillies fans’ expense, faking as if he were about to throw a foul ball souvenir into the stands. Instead, he just tossed the ball into the dugout. Phillies fans didn’t like being the butt of the joke, but Votto just continued playing the heel during his postgame interview.
Votto isn’t always the villain. Later in 2016, he caught a Wilmer Flores foul ball, then gave the souvenir and a high-five to some fans. But Votto seems to relish his harmless way of trolling, as seen during Monday night’s series opener in Philadelphia.
Votto looked like he was having trouble hiding a grin.
On the baseball side of things, Votto has been slow to start the year. He entered Monday’s action batting .226/.265/.226 in 34 plate appearances. As of this writing, he has singled in both trips to the plate against the Phillies on Monday night.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.