In the seventh inning against the Cardinals last night, Joey Votto had a testy experience with a Reds fan sitting along the first base line. St. Louis right fielder Steve Piscotty popped up the first pitch of his at-bat and Votto ranged from first base over to the barrier to make what looked to be a relatively easy play—except that a Reds fan was vying for the ball, as well. The two sort of collided at the moment of truth, and Votto didn't make the play. Votto was pretty pissed about it, too: he not only gave the fan the stink eye; he also grabbed the Reds logo on his shirt as if to say, What's your problem, man. You're jamming me up and you're a Reds fan?
As it turned out, it wasn't a huge deal—Piscotty struck out on three pitches to end the inning—but it was kind of an odd scene. Imagine if a fan grabbed a player's uniform like that! Votto apparently felt bad about it between innings and offered an apology to the fan via signed baseball. He was seen in the dugout taking a fair bit more time to write than for just the usual dashed-off signature and then approached the fan when he went back on the field.
The two hugged it out, and Votto posed for pictures and gave him the ball, on which he had written, in uncharacteristically legible athlete penmanship, "Thanks for being so understanding when I acted out of character." It was a nice gesture on Votto's part, hopefully because he actually felt bad, and not just because he saw replays and realized he really should have caught the ball.