According to some reports, it looks as if Cincinnati Reds‘ first baseman and face of the franchise Joey Votto could be joining the Canadian team in the World Baseball Classic.
According to Baseball Canada director Greg Hamilton,
“As of right now, Joey is going to be with us. We have some things that still need to be dotted and crossed to make sure that everything’s fine. … Joey wants to play, Joey feels good. We just got a few things that need to fall into place here.”
While this all seems fine and dandy for Votto because it appears to everyone in the Reds’ camp that he is healthy, one would have to think that Joey might want to think hard about this before deciding to play for Team Canada.
For someone who is coming off knee surgery last season and is the face of a franchise, I would like to think that it would smart for Votto to be a little more loyal to the team that is paying him $251.5 million over the next 12 years. I understand the whole taking pride in your country thing, but the risk of Votto re-injuring himself in the short amount of games (because let’s face it, it’s not like Canada is going very far in the WBC) should be something Reds’ fans should keep their eye on.
I want to say this now and get it out of the way: I hate the WBC. To get a bunch of professional athletes to play before they’ve had any sort actual time in spring training is completely asinine.
The risk of injury is far too much for someone who is the face of a franchise like Votto is, and the tournament is something that MLB teams should really consider before giving players an “a-okay” on.
Not to mention, not only do players face injury before the season starts, they travel all over the world to play teams, which causes exhaustion from traveling, so they are also going to be tired before they even hit the regular season.
As I said, I understand whole taking pride in playing for your country’s team, but when you see guys like Justin Verlander, C.C. Sabathia and many others say no to this exhibition, you can see how silly this thing can be. But, I wish nothing but the best for Votto and I hope nothing bad happens to him–because the Reds need him to be healthy for the 2013 season.
Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter, @bs_rant1