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.”

Read the whole thing.

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.

11 Responses

  1. lwblogger2

    I’m not sure his start at the plate in 2016 is what he’s talking about. He had a great spring last year and still started the season very poorly at the plate. I’m thinking he’s talking about his work at 1B, which wasn’t very good throughout the entire season. Of course the only person who knows exactly what he’s referring to is Votto.

  2. Streamer88

    How is this not leadership? If you’re a Red, scratch that, any professional athlete, and your GOAT teammate has the self awareness to ID weaknesses in his game and strive to fix them, how are you not motivated and empowered by that?

    I’d follow this guy onto any field at any time. Heck, he gets me juiced up to improve my performance at work and I’m just a fan.

    • Patrick Jeter


      The people who would disagree with you are the same ones who think Hunter Pence’s dugout speech is what willed the Giants to come back on the Reds down 2-0 in a 5 game series.

  3. Bill

    He must be trying to cut down on all those walks and instead focus on getting RBIs.

  4. Dan

    deleted my post 3 times before finally deciding to post my opinion here.
    Nick, your logic displays generational bias. In other words, you think because your player that can see, touch, measure by todays standards is better than someone from generations ago.
    If Votto were to travel back in time to the same era as Pete Rose the most obvious thing is that Votto’s career would have ended with a leg injury, or in the very least due to a lack of technology hobbled him his remaining years. Secondly, the advancement of note only sports medicine but also training materials available simply equips the modern player like no other generation.
    Votto looks like a ballplayer, chiseled good looks. Solid work ethic, Says all the right things you expect him to excel because out of the box he looks and acts like a star.
    Pete Rose was none of that. Pete lacked the swag, the looks, and the disposition of a super athlete. We watched this very normal looking person go out there and over achieve by the standards of the times and were overwhelmed. We expected nothing and instead of nothing we found ourselves a baseball hero that represented the average fan.

    I suppose you will always those that want to compare player X,Y, and Z to the Ruth’s, Ryan’s, and Rose’s from days gone by. I think that alone makes them the ones that are a true legend.

    • Matt WI

      Dang, Dan. All that and it’s the wrong thread post!

    • Bob Foist

      Dan…wrong thread or not that was a great post,I hope you copy and paste to the appropriate article..

  5. Preach

    As a professional sports fan, I’m always happy when my team’s players skip international play. Hate to see Paul George type stuff happen.

  6. cupofcoffee1955

    I agree with Chad, this is good news. As stated above I think this also displays leadership. Votto might use this time to work with other players as well like he did with BHam during the year.

  7. David

    The World Baseball Classic was intended to increase baseball popularity and interest in other countries besides the US (and Canada, Japan, South Korea and Mexico, and a few other countries where it is played). Having said that, I think it is dumb. I think it led directly to Edinson Volquez elbow surgery in 2009, because he was not well prepared to pitch in the WBC. I think the WBC is especially BAD for pitchers.
    So I personally am pretty much against the WBC, and players being involved in it.
    Good for Joey.