Red Reposter: Joey Votto and the Hit King

Andy Lyons

Howard Megdal gives us more insight into the Reds' clubhouse chemistry.

Sports on Earth: WE ARE FAMILY

Howard Megdal covers the Mets for Capital New York and is one of the best baseball writers working today. He's exposed the Wilpons' shadiness when other writers have shied away from the issue.

While the Reds were in New York this week, Megdal caught up with them about the homegrown nature of the team. Megdal looks at the numerous Reds players who advanced through the minors together.

Bailey sees it is as much a question of self-policing effort on the field as it is the particular moments in a game. No one wants to let his teammates down, according to Bailey, because they all knew each other before they were major leaguers.

"We all knew each other when we were broke," Bailey said, laughing. "Now we know each other when we're making money. We all went peanut butter and jelly sandwiches together. So it's like, 'Don't give me that s**t. I knew you back when.'"

ESPN.com: Joey Votto has a razor-like focus

Votto models his hitting approach after Ted Williams, but Jerry Crasnick reports that the Reds first baseman also has a connection with Pete Rose. Early in Votto's career, Rose told him to never give away at-bats and to always look for another hit regardless of the score or game situation. I would have guessed that this mindset is common with all ballplayers, but I'm not one to second guess the Hit King or Joey Votto when it comes to hitting.

At their current pace, Votto and Choo will both reach base more than 300 times each this season. If they pull it off, they will join Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams of the 1999 Yankees and Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell of the 1997 Astros as the only teammates to achieve the feat since Hank Greenberg and Charlie Gehringer did it for Detroit in 1937. The concept of making every at-bat count has often been ascribed to Rose, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew and other serial batting champions. "That's what the good hitters do," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "This didn't just start now. Luke Appling told me that 30-something years ago [with the Braves]."

MLB.com: Choo's stock rising with play for Reds in contract year

Mark Sheldon looks at Choo's incredible season so far. According to Sheldon, Walt Jocketty is open to extending Choo, but realizes that Cincinnati's budget may not permit such a move. The Mets again come up as a possible suitor, but I still can't see that working out given the Wilpons' financial situation and the team's place in the rebuilding process.

BOZICH: Hard To Believe Reds Have 5 Better Starters Than Cingrani

I'm a Tony Cingrani fan, but there is no reason to wring your hands over his return to Louisville. Whose spot in the rotation would Cingrani take? Mat Latos, Johnny Cueto, and Homer Bailey have all locked down permanent spots in the rotation. Bronson Arroyo is the crafty veteran in the last year of his contract. Mike Leake is pitching well, and his peripherals are in good shape, too. Cingrani, Arroyo, and Leake all have similar ERAs on the season (3.27, 3.28, and 3.25 respectively), and all project to pitch about the same for the rest of the season per ZiPS.

Cincinnati.com: With great relish, Reds welcome new mustard

Cliff Radel reports that the Reds will now serve Woeber's Dusseldorf Mustard at Great American Ballpark.

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