As far as I’m concerned, this is good news. C. Trent is reporting that Joey Votto will not play for Team Canada in the 2017 World Baseball Classic:
Votto, 33, played for Canada in the 2009 and 2013 WBCs, but will not participate this year.
“There were some aspects of my performance in 2016 that I have decided were lacking,” Votto said in his statement. “I would like to use 2017 Spring Training for preparation.”
As was noted on Twitter (see below), it’s kinda funny that Votto — who led the National League in a number of offensive categories — thinks he needs to be better. But those of us who watched him every single day in 2016 know exactly what he’s talking about. Votto was atrocious at the plate over the first couple of months of the season, and he wants to use Spring Training to ensure we don’t see a repeat of that. He has also talked about being a more complete player, and I imagine Votto will be working on his defense and base-running, as well.
Either way, Votto is a great, great player — but he wants to be even better. Nothing wrong with that, Reds fans.