Joey Votto may have played the final game of his career on Sunday. Unfortunately, the Reds' veteran first baseman only made one plate appearance for the afternoon.
Votto was ejected from Sunday's matchup between the Reds and Cardinals in the first inning shortly after striking out on a foul tip. He apparently took issue with the third pitch of the at-bat, which was called a strike by home plate umpire Shane Livensparger.
The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans quickly pointed out that the pitch was far inside and out of the strike zone. It was also in the same location as the first pitch of the at-bat, which was called a ball.
Tyler Stephenson is at first base. Joey Votto did get ejected in what may be the last game of his career. It would almost be fitting that he got mad at a missed call and was right (pitch 3) pic.twitter.com/oxfCcm1O2A— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) October 1, 2023
Joey Votto has been ejected from the game in St. Louis after the first inning. pic.twitter.com/U45NY1wHPe— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) October 1, 2023
As Votto returned to the dugout at the end of the inning, Livensparger ejected him. The first baseman and Reds manager David Bell came back onto the field to argue, but there was no changing the decision. The ejection was the 15th of Votto's 17-year major-league career.
After leaving the game, Votto acknowledged that the ejection was "justified" and apologized to fans who may have been disappointed by not getting to see him play after the first inning.
I cannot holler at the umpire from our teams bench. He was completely justified in ejecting me.— Joey Votto (@JoeyVotto) October 1, 2023
For those that wanted to see me play today, I am sorry.
Votto hasn't officially announced that he'll retire. But this is the final of his 10-year, $225 million contract. The Reds hold an option for 2024 but after Votto batted .203, it's likely the team will buy him out for $7 million. He made a point to acknowledge the home crowd with a tip of his cap in what may have been his final game in Cincinnati last week.