Originally Posted by 757690
That's exactly what I am saying.
2009 was the year Votto had his panic attacks. There was real concern if he would ever be able to handle being a major league player. I honestly believe that had Rolen not been acquired, Votto would likely not have been able to handle it, and continue to suffer his panic attacks, and not be able to continue playing at the level we are used to. Votto's recent quotes about Rolen's influence on him only provide further evidence of this.
Jay Bruce was having his worst year ever as a baseball player. There were doubts if he could put it all together, and concerns that he could crash and burn altogether. Maybe he would have put it together without Rolen, but again I am convinced that Rolen helped Bruce immensely in his effort to mature into an All-Star.
Brandon Phillips' stats have stayed rather constant, but before Rolen, the press hated to deal with him, and he had numerous incidents on and off the field which demonstrated a lack of maturity. He had overcome all of that and is currently a media and fan darling. It's silly to dismiss Rolen's role in this.
But more importantly, on a bigger grander scale, Rolen brought a winning , confident culture to the club. One would have to be blind not to have noticed it.
Maybe none of this was Rolen, maybe it was Logan Ondrusek who came to the Reds around the same time, or maybe it was Jim Kelch or a new batboy. But we have no evidence it was any of them, yet plenty of evidence it was Rolen. And that was before the recent Votto interview.
I do not think Scott Rolen stopped Joey Votto's panic attacks. My guess is Votto was dealing with a lot of stuff, in the wake of his father's death and who knows what else, and my impression is that he was clear-headed enough to find ways to deal with it professionally and on his own, something that's not always easy for athletes, who are encouraged to show no sign of "weakness".
That's not to minimize the Rolen effect. I love him too, and I agree that things like Phillips's handling of the media absolutely smacks of his influence. But panic attacks and depression are not the kind of thing that are cured by a strong clubhouse presence. Joey Votto is today's Joey Votto because he is tough and had the courage to deal with his stuff instead of bury it. Maybe the fancy coffee helped too.