Ariz. — With success comes respect and for Joey Votto that respect should reach a level that Rodney Dangerfield wished for and begged for during an entire lifetime.
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker managed Barry Bonds in San Francisco and saw the fear in the eyes of some pitchers when Bonds commanded the batter’s box. And as a guy who has managed against Albert Pujols he has seen and felt first-hand the respect that The Great Albert commands and demands.
Now that Votto has MVP permanently attached to his name, Baker believes that Votto is on his way to experience the Bonds-Pujols Approach.
“Joey was starting to get a lot of attention last year,” said Baker. “I remember Derrek Lee talking to me about him and saying, ‘That guy can hit.’ Hitters recognize hitters. And hitters appreciate hitters.
“You saw last year how they started pitching him tougher and started pitching around him,” Baker added. “It’s the same thing Albert Pujols has been going through for seven or eight years now and Barry Bonds was the epitome of pitchers pitching around him.”
What Baker knows for certain is that Votto is going to need protection