Joey Votto CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 14: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds watches the action during the game against the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park on August 14, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Professional athletes often face hecklers, but few have as good of a response as Cincinnati Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto did Monday night in Cleveland against the Indians. While Votto was in the on-deck circle, a nearby fan yelled at him “I remember when you used to be good,” and he shot back with “I remember when you used to be thin.” Someone was filming the whole thing:

It’s great how this starts, with Votto’s polite “Pardon me?” (he is Canadian, after all) after the guy tries it the first time, and then the instant response when he does hear the actual insult. The laughter from whoever’s filming it is a solid addition, too. The fan shoots back with “About the same time as you were good,” and Votto goes “Aw, that’s not true. Now you guys are just talking, you’re not speaking facts.” And when the guy continued to troll him, Votto went on a digression about why he couldn’t fully engage the way he might have wanted to.

“You know what the difference is? This guy’s filming this, and I’ve got something to lose. And you guys don’t even have a life, so you’ve got nothing to lose at all. And it’s terrible if I start talking to you guys.”

Well, the way he chose to do so certainly wasn’t terrible. That’s a great display of quick thinking from Votto, and one that let him shoot back a little without drawing any fines or bad publicity. (Apparently heckling Votto is a thing, so he may have been prepared for something like this.) The fan’s wrong, too; while Votto is 33, he’s still performing at an incredibly high level, putting up 7.5 WAR in 2015, 5.0 in 2016 and 1.7 so far this year (as per Fangraphs). And he got a double in a 5-1 Reds’ win Monday, so he had the last laugh.

[Streamable, via Reddit]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

1 thought on “Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

  1. That fan was either clueless or drunk (or from Cleveland). Votto had the second highest on-base percentage in the MLB in 2016 (.434) and fourth highest batting average (.326).

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