Saturday, July 20

How the Reds’ Joey Votto became a social media star

The outburst, which Votto and Jim Day, the reporter on the sidelines of the Reds broadcasts, had been reenacting for weeks – even on the team plane, which confused quite a few members of the Reds staff – has gone viral: one of the funniest characters of baseball had acted again.

Votto, 40, who didn’t embrace social media until March 2020, now regularly posts content to an audience of more than 300,000 followers on Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter. Like the attack on Russo, Votto’s posts are carefully conceived and executed.

Last winter, she posed in a flamboyant designer outfit – puffer jacket, furry tracksuit, expensive sunglasses, all purchased for the occasion – before playing in a chess tournament in Toronto. In June, shortly before returning from shoulder surgery, he debuted a skit behind the wheel of a Cincinnati school bus while a student chastised him for returning to the field.

That Votto, who returned from the injured list on Sunday, approached social media with foresight and planning is not surprising. He has long been known as one of the most meticulous players in the game. What is new is his willingness to dedicate all his energy to it. For years he conducted his career as an ascetic, devoting himself exclusively to the task of swinging a club. “He was so focused on his craft as a baseball player,” said Zack Cozart, a teammate at Cincinnati for seven seasons, “it was almost like he didn’t have time for anything else.”