Joey Votto still bangs — but his comments on Wednesday may be louder than any home run he’s hit in recent weeks.
The typically quiet (and, by his own admission, “boring”) Votto made waves Wednesday morning during an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show,” seemingly peeling back more of the cheating curtain in MLB.
When asked whether baseball fans should stop booing the Astros for their sign-stealing in 2017, Votto provided a fairly blunt answer:
“Yeah, yeah, there’s no question about it,” Votto said. “The idea that they (the Astros) were the only one doing something wrong just baffles me.”
Votto said while things such as deciphering a pitcher’s tell is totally in bounds (and it is), elaborate cheating scandals are far beyond the rules, and that he’s even been offered the chance to gain a seemingly unfair advantage while in the batter’s box.
“If someone were to — if there was a tip from the pitcher, I would want to know,” Votto said. “But as far as like, any sort of complicated cheating strategy, I’m not for that. If I had the choice to know and to not know — of course, that would be an advantage.
“But I’ve been offered that before in my career, and I’ve passed on that, simply because, it’s unpredictable. Sometimes they get it wrong. Sometimes they guess the wrong pitch and you’re taking a strike down the middle.”
Astros players famously skirted by any real punishment for their involvement in the scandal after MLB completed its investigation during the 2019-20 offseason, but both general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were left suspended and unemployed.
Hinch now manages the Tigers, while Luhnow is still searching for a job. Red Sox manager Alex Cora was suspended for his role in the illegal strategy, but returned to manage the Red Sox in 2021.
Carlos Beltran, another member of the Astros in 2017, was hired by the Mets before the start of the 2020 season, but was released before ever managing a game.
The candid Votto seemed to confirm many suspicions about cheating around the sport, but how far that stretches is still up in the air.