Fallout from Votto Comment

As Tim stated yesterday, Reds All-Star first baseman Joey Votto has a dislike for the Chicago Cubs. All the fallout from his comment has reached every circle. Just to refresh your memory from ESPNChicago.com’s post by Bruce Levine.

“I don’t like the Cubs,” Votto said. “And I’m not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back. But because he made that really cool play, it turned out to be a really cool experience. I’m really glad we got the win today.”

But the road by no means ended there. Yahoo! Sports baseball blog Big League Stewto Votto’s comments to another level. The post’s author, David Brown, takes Votto’s comment and directs them to Votto’s character, and, not surprisingly, the picture painted of Votto is unflattering.

“What a leech — and a sorry excuse for an All-Star.”

And it’s not so much Brown’s scathing of the Reds young star as much as the public’s with its comments. As of now, there are almost 2,400 comments. Some comments blast Votto for exhibiting poor sportsmanship to not leaving his ego outside the clubhouse. There are others referring to Votto as the proverbial “POS” (original) to having no class.

What I do find a bit amusing is that there is no mention in Brown’s post (and not very widely circulated on the web either for that matter) of the remarks Boston Red Sox lefty Jon Lester made regarding former minor league teammate and current Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Courtesy of the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley.

“I’d have a better chance of being struck by lightning than me and him getting a pizza together,” he said. “You can take that for what it’s worth. But there was no chance on God’s green earth that I was getting a pizza with him.”

I know what some of you are thinking. It’s the whole AL-NL thing going on between Lester and Ramirez. It’s actually Lester possibly making a reference to their days together in the minors when Ramirez was branded as “immature”.

I’m not comparing apples to oranges here. Buckley exactly shares my opinion to the letter a bit later in his post.

“But what it says about Lester is remarkable. In an age when players share agents, in an age when players routinely change teams, in an age when the powerful Players Association pulls its charges together under a one-for-all, all-for-one umbrella, Jon Lester appears unwilling to throw imaginary bouquets at opposing players simply because he has been asked to do so.”

Simply take out “Jon Lester” and insert “Joey Votto” and it works magnificently.

Why am I bantering so much about this? Simple. If that was a player on your favorite team making the exact same comment about a divisional foe or rival, you would have that player’s back in a heartbeat. No questions asked. Divine loyalty to “your boys”. That’s what makes you a fan.

Tim feels the same, too. From yesterday:

“I am just glad the guy was honest and said what he meant. I like the fact that the Reds don’t like the other teams and show it. That is a definite change of attitude from the recent past.”

In reality, this is a non-story. Votto’s comments may be exactly what other All-Star members felt, but none of them had the kahunas to express it.

What all this really displays is that there isn’t a whole lot going on within baseball at the All-Star break and any comment from any player made at anytime can be contorted into something more.

Move along. Nothing here to see…