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Marty Brennaman does not think Joey Votto should be trying to lead the league in on-base percentage

Joey Votto Getty

Marty Brennaman is a Frick Award winner and, when he wants to be, is still one of the best broadcasters in the game. But his favorite hobby, it seems, is going after the Reds’ best players.

He did this all through the 2000s with Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr., acting as if they were what stood between the Reds and success. In recent years he has decided Joey Votto is the problem. Never mind that he’s their best hitter. I mean, when you rip a guy for his RBI total despite the fact that he’s hitting .330/.441/.525 at the time, you may a bit unhinged on the subject.

Brennaman continued his campaign against Votto today:

“if this guy comes back and is content to lead the lead in OBP again, then this team is in deep trouble,"-Marty on Votto #Reds @700wl

— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) February 13, 2015

He’s right. Votto should make more outs. That’d be the smart play.

Look, I know what some of you will say, mostly because I live in Ohio, I’ve heard Brennaman say it so much and a lot of Reds fans like to parrot it: “Votto should be more aggressive!” Maybe in some situations he should. Votto himself has said as much.

But that’s a totally different thing than Brennaman is saying here. The use of the word “content” is a suggestion about Votto’s character, his desire to win and his baseball I.Q. The fixation on on-base percentage -- a stat where, in every possible way, it is better to have a high number than a low number -- is a dose of ignorance about which Brennaman should and likely does know better. This is his way of saying Votto is soft and lacks the will to win and, if you know a lot of Reds fans, you know that’s something they say over and over again.

Mostly because the team’s iconic announcer tells them they should think that way.