Joey Votto

Mr. Votto Goes to Chicago

By Steve Engbloom

I’m curious as to the type of reception Reds first baseman Joey Votto will receive this weekend at Wrigley Field…Hmmm.

Won’t be a pleasant one I can assure you of that.

You remember. After the All-Star Game, Bruce Levine of was inquiring about the play Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd made. Votto uttered the now famous line “I don’t like the Cubs” and a firestorm was brewing. And it brewed over into the blogosphere on the baseball blog Big League Stew on Yahoo!. A rather scathing post by David Brown called Votto a “leech” and referred to Votto as “a sorry excuse for an All-Star”.

Cincinnati Reds blog author and Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer John Fay questioned Votto about that very issue. After all, this ruffed the feathers of so many baseball fans, not just Cubs fans.

Votto’s response was simple.

"“I was laughing when I said it,” he said. “I realized it was a Chicago reporter.”"

And Votto further stated that he did congratulate Byrd for his play. As far as Cubs fans are concerned, it’s a bit different.

"“That being said, I respect all the Chicago Cub players. They’re some of the most professional in the game. I don’t have a problem with any of the Chicago guys. I enjoy playing against them. I just don’t like their fans. I can’t stand hearing that ‘Go Cubs Go’ song.”"

That all reverts back to 2007 when Votto was a September rookie call-up and the Cubs clinched the NL Central in Cincinnati. In a post from C. Trent Roscrans of, Votto explains that not only was he irritated about the amount of Cubs fans in attendance, but their behavior as well.

"“I still remember that now, I remember them looking at the scoreboard and Cubs fans cheering and everyone in the stands wearing blue,” Votto said. “I still remember that and it meant a lot to me. I guess I should probably let it go, but I’m not an easy forgiver.”"

I’d like to point something out here. I have to give total props to David Brown of Big League Stew. Just as Votto issued his explanation, Brown authored an apology to Votto and Reds fans. Brown realized (like the restof us) that he had been hoodwinked.

"“Calling him a “leech” was harsh on my part. I’m sorry for doing that, Joey, and Reds fans.”"

Upon searching through Levine’s blog, I cannot locate any post since he originally “reported” on this “issue” in which he offers any type of explanation as to why he didn’t deliver the whole story in its proper context.

Not like it matters to Cubs fans anyway. Votto still won’t sign autographs for them.