Reds first baseman Joey Votto has been taking a lot of heat the last couple of days for his All-Star snub of Marlon Byrd, and I just don't get it...
Basically, Votto didn't join in on the high fives after Byrd made a potentially game saving play by throwing out Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz at second base from right field. Some thought it wasn't very classy. But Votto put it thusly:
"I don't like the Cubs," Votto told ESPN. "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."
My reaction: So?
Who said these guys have to be best pals. It's not like Votto punched Byrd in the face or something. He just didn't slap him on the back or carry the Cubs fly chaser off the field on his shoulders. So what? I think it is refreshing that a player chose honesty over doing the politically correct, PR friendly thing.
I guess I'm old fashioned. But I think players on one team shouldn't be hanging out with players on other teams during the course of the season. I can't stand it when Cardinals players meet guys from the other team at second base during warm ups and chit chat away for 10 minutes before exchanging hugs and wishing each other good luck. I'm not saying there should be fisticuffs in the All-Star dugout. But do Cardinals really need to be going to dinner with Brewers and Cubs? No. Do Yankees need to be stroking the egos of Red Sox players? I think not. Play ball. But remember who signs your paycheck.
Bob Gibson wasn't hugging anybody from another team. I don't care if his brother played for the Cubs, there wasn't going to be any kissy face in public or anywhere else for that matter. This isn't little league and the players aren't out there to work on their tans. They're highly paid to win games for the name of the club on the front of their jersey.
Basically, the Votto controversy isn't really a controversy at all. It's the work of whiney Cubs fans trying to make something out of another nothing season in Chicago. Reading Cubs blogs makes me want to gag:
Cut and pasted from "The Cubbies Crib:" (I find it more amusing to read it like an indignant Scarlett O'Hara type voice, complete with southern belle accent.)
For whatever reason, The Chicago Cubs are one of teams that players around the major league like to take shots at. This time, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto gets his shots in on the Chicago Cubs.
Considering Votto has never been an all-star before in his career, he probably had to (SIC) much of an ego to realize that when you are at the All-Star game there is no division rivalries. It is just plain simply the best of the National League against the best of the American league.
It should also be mentioned that Votto did not make the original All-Star team, and needed help through the way of fan voting to get on the team. Marlon Byrd on the other hand was originally selected to the All-Star team.
Dear Cubbies Crib,
For whatever reason? People hate the Cubs because their players and their fans think they are the final word on Major League Baseball when, in actuality, they are really the worst team in the history of the game. (Seriously, even the Toronto Blue Jays have won the World Series in the last century.) I guess the denials and the boastfulness make it easier to drown out the sound of all the rest of us laughing at you...)
But how can Cubs fans be the authority on All-Star Game etiquette when they don't understand it is the fans who vote for All-Star starters? What he means to say is that Votto was voted in on a gimicky vote to decide the last roster spot. That being said, it should be mentioned that Votto is a candidate for National League MVP. Why don't you know this? Because Cubs fans don't see anything that happens outside of their decrepit stadium. Yeah, it's true, Votto couldn't beat out Albert Pujols and be voted onto the NL All-Star team. But perhaps I should point out to you that the only reason Byrd was on the all-star roster is because the rules say each team gets a representative, no matter how awful its players are. Byrd was chosen because Phillies manager Charlie Manuel HAD to take him. Do you honestly believe if at least one player from each team wasn't required that Byrd would have been chosen over Votto?
Yeah, I know you do. Want to know how I know? You're a Cubs fan. But that's your problem.