Monday, March 4, 2013

Joey Votto will play for Canada in World Baseball Classic

The Canadians received a huge lift to their World Baseball Classic odds this morning.

This is because Reds All-Star Joey Votto will play for Team Canada in the WBC. Votto revealed his intentions in a 10-minute session with media at spring training Monday morning.

“I look forward to playing for the team,” Votto said. “I look forward to being a part of the tournament. I had a great time the last time. I’m very grateful I’m on the team. It’s not very often you get to represent your country in a big tournament like this. I never got to play in the Olympics, this is the next best thing.”

The former MVP had been wavering on whether he would actually play in the Classic amid concerns over the readiness of his surgically-repaired knee. Apparently, he feels good enough to participate now, which is a good sign for the Reds.

Votto was initially a late addition to Canada's roster, but declined to say if he would actually participate. That announcement came on Feb. 20. Monday's announcement effectively ended any and all seeds of doubt.

Votto is set to join Team Canada, who are conveniently working out at the same spring training facility as the Reds, on Wednesday.

The Reds and Team Canada have an exhibition game scheduled for Wednesday at Goodyear Ballpark. Votto says he will not participate for either side, citing the fact that his allegiances would be torn because of the match-up.

Votto previously played for Canada in the 2009 WBC. In Canada's first game against the United States, Votto went 4-for-5 with a home run.

The United States and Canada will clash on Sunday, March 10 at Chase Field.

Via Cincinnati Enquirer

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