Mailbox: It's tough to watch a great player like Joey Votto struggling at the end

Brian White
The Columbus Dispatch
Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto sits in the dugout during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Cincinnati, Saturday, April 15, 2023. The Reds won 13-0. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

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On the Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto

To Brian: After Joe DiMaggio hit .263 at age 36, he said he wasn't Joe DiMaggio anymore and retired. The Reds' 39-year-old injury-plagued Joey Votto hit only .205 last year, but has 32 million reasons to stick around for another season. He led the league in on-base percentage seven times and was in the top 10 all-time. He's now 33rd, which is still very good on a list that has Pete Rose at 229 and Hank Aaron at 240. But seeing something even worse than Willie Mays playing at 42 isn't how I would have wanted him to go out.     

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

To Dennis: There are those who are not too, too old who might remember Mays and Oscar Robertson only as chubby guys who were said to be good at one time. Or Michael Jordan as a Wizard. Or Franco Harris and Jerry Rice as Seahawks. It's never fun seeing the great ones diminish.

Mar 7, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes offensive coordinator Brian Hartline motions during spring football drills at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

On Ohio State coach Brian Hartline

To Brian: If true, wouldn't operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol resulting in personal injury (and hospitalization) to you and your passenger (at 1:30 a.m.!), whether or not on your property, be cause for suspension, demotion or worse? ... I think (Brian Hartline's) ascension to head coach somewhere will be delayed a little bit.

Michael Holliday, Poulsbo, Washington 

To Michael: I'm sure those matters will be handled in house, including a talking-to from Ryan Day. But don't count on a demotion (or worse) of the best recruiter in college football.

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On coaches salaries

To the editor: Should coaches be paid the same? Where are we, Russia? Yes, and every team should get a national championship trophy because they tried. Please choose better headlines or better subject matter.

Frank Pinciotti

Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) takes a hit from Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Javon Bullard (22) during the second half of the Peach Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Ohio State lost 42-41. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

On officiating

Dear Sports Editor: I wrote earlier suggesting the officiating in the Iowa women’s basketball game may have influenced the outcome the way it absolutely changed the outcome of the Ohio State-Georgia game, which I addressed in a previous letter. The point was, and remains, that ABC has ownership interest in ESPN which owns the SEC network, so if the SEC team wins, the broadcaster, responsible for shaping the production, makes more money. When the regulator, the regulated and the broadcaster primarily responsible for shaping public opinion are all profiting from the same till, it’s at least a conflict of interest. It’s precisely why America has antitrust laws, where autocracies like Russia, for instance, do not.  

Ohio State football:Ryan Day says Marvin Harrison Jr. knocked unconscious on non-targeting call vs. Georgia

You have likely seen multiple articles regarding the Iowa game suggesting that while LSU was the better team, the officiating ruined the game. Maybe you just ignore those. If so, fine, but, like you, most of us are averse to ref blaming. That’s why the articles surrounding this game are so unusual. Regardless, the decision by a person in a booth to pick up the flag thrown by one official and confirmed by a second, when Georgia’s Bullard blindsided Marvin Harrison and knocked him unconscious, was unjustifiable and changed the outcome of that game. If Ohio State scores a touchdown there, a Georgia victory would have been out of reach. So they cut to commercial, and when the broadcast resumed, Ohio State was kicking a field goal without discussion. The commentators at the local ESPN radio affiliate subsequently tried to justify it, but they work for the people who made more money when the call was changed.  

There’s no way to talk about the subject without being inflammatory, so criticism was to be expected. But being called pathetic, and absolutely pathetic, and 99.98% of folks here hate the SEC, and white privilege (was I being called racist for questioning the officiating?) ignore the facts in favor of name calling and shouting down. If there’s no independent body to investigate when a call is that egregious, then doesn’t it fall to journalists to ask the questions? If people are going to prefer shouting down those who question bad conduct, bad conduct is assured. At least Bullard got to make money selling T-shirts for disabling OSU’s best player without consequence.

Bob Young, Columbus

Apr 2, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) shakes the hand of Ohio State women's hockey defenseman Sophie Jaques after she dropped the ceremonial puck before the game against Ottawa Senators at Nationwide Arena.

On Ohio State's Sophie Jaques

To the editor: Mr. Arace’s column on Sophie Jaques was debatable on the merits but was way out of bounds on taste when he said that Jessie Owens couldn’t get lunch on High Street. Nicklaus had no problems with lunch. Trivializing segregation is amoral and fat shaming lacks civility and good taste. Mr. Arace obviously has an acerbic wit but he should think before he writes. This reader wishes he would learn to use the eraser and delete button more often.

Michael Oser, Columbus

More from the Mailbox:

Reader doubles down on opinion that all Ohio State coaches should be paid the same

Did SEC favoritism help LSU in hoops the way it helped Georgia top Ohio State?

Readers sound off on Ohio State football coaches' salaries

Readers don't like timing of 'obscene' raises for Ohio State football coaches

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Blue Jackets remain a mystery; and would Aaron Craft save Ohio State basketball?

Can Les Wexner fix Ohio State men's basketball?

Ohio State basketball's Chris Holtmann, Kevin McGuff under fire from readers

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