Joey Votto won the NL MVP yesterday by getting 31 of the 32 first-place votes, a dominating total that left little doubt about the 27-year-old first baseman's rapidly ascendant reputation. It's no coincidence that Votto's move into the MLB elite coincided with the team's first playoff appearance in 15 years (and just their second playoff appearance since 1979), which was also the last time a Reds player, Barry Larkin, won the MVP. What wasn't expected was the gusher of praise about the Reds future from MLB Network's panel of Hot Stove analysts.
When discussing Votto's win, Sports Illustrated scribe Jon Heyman said that he wouldn't be surprised to see Jay Bruce also win an MVP in the future, which actually came as a surprise to me (though I'm not saying it's not possible). Dan Plesac, one of the network's “crazy left-handers,” a baby-faced, sqeaky-voiced guy who perpetually looks as though should be playing golf at the Western Hills Country Club, said, “It looks like the Reds are building something pretty promising in Cincinnati” and that they should be in contention for years to come.
Pete Rose, whom I interviewed several weeks back when his documentary 4192 opened here, also believes the organization is heading in the right direction.
“Anytime you're from Cincinnati and the Reds are in the playoffs you're happy for them,” he said at the time. “Mr. Castellini is doing a great job over there. He's trying. Hopefully they'll continue to get better next year and get into a situation where they can sell that thing out every night and draw 3 million people. I think the Cincinnati fans have proven in the past that if you win, they'll come out and see you.
“I know they didn't do well against good teams this year, but they beat the hell out of their division, and that's why they were in the playoffs,” he continued. “They've got some real good young players, some real good young pitching, and if Walt (Jocketty) and Mr. Castellini continue to grow that ball club, it will make it fun for us to go to the ballpark.”
Speaking of 4192 —after closing last week following a month-long run at the Esquire Theatre, the film reopens tomorrow at the freshly minted Kenwood Theatre, no doubt a better location in which to lure East Side soccer moms who were hesitant to travel to Clifton.