Earlier today, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto declared he would play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. He also offered an apology for those that cancelled plans due to his uncertainty about playing for them.
On Thursday, the new Face of MLB will join his Canadian teammates including another first baseman and former MVP Justin Morneau. The Reds are slated to play Team Canada on Wednesday, but according to John Fay, Votto will not participate.
As far as Votto just now coming to this decision, he stated he wanted to get some games under his belt and make sure his surgically repaired knee was sound. Heading into today’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Votto is 6-for-16 (.375) with a homer and 5 RBI, He also has 4 walks and 2 strikeouts.
The reaction from Reds fans mostly supported Votto’s decision. I got the sense that most Reds fans fell if Votto didn’t feel his knee was ready, he wouldn’t be playing in the WBC. Considering some view this as nothing but an exhibition, I’m a little shocked more aren’t against this move, but as Votto stated, he never got to play in the Olympics (and never will since it’s no longer on the schedule.
Recall I did a poll some time back on this. I asked if you support Reds players in the WBC. Here’s the results…
Do you like Reds players participating in the World Baseball Classic?
- Yes (53%, 37 Votes)
- No (47%, 33 Votes)
Total Voters: 70
Obviously, those that support Team Canada are completely on board with this news.
Votto will play first base and DH for Team Canada.