Joey Votto compares impressive Reds to Sacramento Kings

Jun 20, 2023, 9:45 AM

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 19: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds acknowledges the crowd before his...

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JUNE 19: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds acknowledges the crowd before his first at bat of the season in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park on June 19, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds have turned plenty of heads around the sports world this season, and a potential future Hall of Fame first baseman is comparing his team’s success to the Sacramento Kings’ return to relevance.

Cincinnati is the hottest team in Major League Baseball, having won nine-straight games and 12 of their past 14 en route to claiming a first-place spot in the National League Central division.

Six-time All-Star first baseman Joey Votto made his 2023 season debut on Monday night, hitting a home run and driving in three runs during the Reds’ 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Following the win, Votto joined Scott Van Pelt on Sports Center to discuss his team’s impressive play, comparing Cincinnati’s tenacity to the Sacramento Kings’ recent playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

“These guys, the best thing about it, I watched that Kings-Warriors series this year, and the youth on the other side, the Kings’ side, they’re just so tenacious,” Votto said on Monday night. “That’s kind of what we have here. These guys don’t care. They’re not impressed. They’re coming for you every single day because they’re so young and so full of energy. I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”

Votto’s comparison of Cincinnati to Sacramento is one that makes plenty of sense, as both are teams that have had little-to-no playoff success over the past 20-plus seasons.

The Kings just snapped a 16-season postseason drought, winning 48 games and claiming its first Pacific Division title in 20 years thanks to strong play from a young core that includes two All-NBA talents in De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

Sacramento drew the then-defending champion Golden State Warriors in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, narrowly dropping a hard-fought seven-game series.

The Reds entered 2023 on the heels of a 100-loss season in 2022, with expectations at an all-time low. Instead of rolling over, a young Cincinnati team has won nine-straight games and currently holds a 38-35 record–best in the NL Central–as they solidify their position in the National League playoff race.

Cincinnati’s average age of 28.0 is the sixth-youngest roster in Major League Baseball, while Sacramento’s average age of 26.4 was ninth-youngest in the NBA.

Maybe Votto is onto something with his Kings-Reds comparison–and that would be a good thing for Cincinnati fans if the former MVP is right.

Sacramento Kings Offseason Schedule

  • Thursday, June 22– 2023 NBA Draft
  • Friday, June 30– Free Agent negotiating period begins
  • Thursday, July 6– Free Agents can begin signing deals
  • Friday, July 7–Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
  • August TBD– 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • September TBD– Sacramento Kings training camp begins

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