Joey Votto did not get a hit on Sunday but the Reds first baseman still managed to leave Citizens Bank Park as public enemy No. 1 after trolling Phillies fans during Cincinnati's 9-4 win.
Votto, who has just two hits this season in 22 at-bats against the Phillies, acted in the sixth inning as if he was going to toss a foul ball into the stands. Votto walked to the crowd and faked the throw. He pumped his fist to celebrate his ruse. The fans behind booed.
Votto returned to the Reds dugout after the inning and again faked a throw as a group of young fans stood with their gloves ready. The crowd booed again. Votto was asked if he had anything to say to the fans that were upset.
“Too bad,” he told reporters.
Votto said he was not faking out the kids that waited by the dugout, but instead an adult that was heckling him. Votto held the ball in the air, faked the throw two times, and then walked down the dugout steps and laughed.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 15, 2016
“I was just having fun out there. They give you a hard time during the game, and that’s my way of giving them a hard time back,” Votto said. “Really, it’s just me playing around. I was telling, I think it was Galvis, just how much fun I have coming here because it’s such an energized bunch and they get on you if you’re not doing your job. They get on you if you’re on the other team, if you’re giving them a hard time. It’s a really fun group here.”
Votto stopped into the Reds clubhouse and heard the Phillies broadcasters lampoon him for not throwing the ball to a kid. Ben Davis delivered a baseball signed by Mike Schmidt to one of the fans.
“They’re such a treat to play in front of,” Votto said. “They give you immediate feedback and a high percentage of the guys and ladies and kids on the first base side were smiling and laughing. Fair game.”
Joey Votto is the villain we deserve.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) May 15, 2016