Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 3/4/13
SALT RIVER AT TAKLING STICK, Ariz. Cincinnati Reds third base coach Mark Berry took all the drama and intrigue out of Joey Vottos announcement Monday morning.As Votto walked toward a media gathering to say yes or no to playing for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, Berry broke into a lusty and off-key rendition of, O Canada.So, yes. Yes, Votto will play for his native country in the World Baseball Classic. And Team Canada plays an exhibition game Wednesday night against the Reds.Hearing that, pitcher Mat Latos, who will pitch for the Reds that night said, Oh, good. I get to face Votto. Im going to walk him.No, he isnt. Votto isnt joining the Canadians until Thursday and he wont play Wednesday night for Canada or for the Reds. He is taking that night off.I look forward to being a part of the team and I had a great time playing for them the last time, said Votto. It isnt very often you get to represent your country in a big event like this.Votto delayed his decision until the last moments to make certain his surgically repaired left knee was strong and sturdy during early exhibition games and it passed the test.Votto leaves the Reds with the blessings of owner Bob Castellinio, Who encouraged me to play, manager Dusty Baker and general manager Walt Jocketty.If he is OK, Im for the decision, said Baker. And he says he is OK. If he is not OK he is not going to say he is OK.Joey is the top man in Canada as far as baseball is concerned, like a national treasure, Baker added. You always want to be able to go home. A lot of the guys on the Canadian have backed out on their country. Joey is the main man for his country.Votto has said all spring that his knee was performing to his expectations, so it was fairly clear he would play in the WBC, Because I really want to do it, he said.I never got to play in the Olympics, but this is the next best thing, he added. I had a great time in Toronto (his hometown) in 2009 and I hope that we have a better time and do some winning (they lost two straight last time).Vottos plans, subject to manager Ernie Whitt, is to do some designated hitting and play some first base. It is also the position played by Minnesotas Justin Mourneau.I imagine Ill share time with another former Most Valuable Player, he said, referring to him winning the National League MVP in 2010 and Morneau winning the American League MVP in 2008.Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin pulled out after agreeing to play for Team Canada and Votto said, I respect his decision. He has a responsibility to the Pirates. A lot of the players have hesitated because their organizations have made them think twice, in a good way. Pitchers, for the most part, have passed. Catchers get a lot of wear and tear and Russ is with a new organization and it is important he stays with the Pittsburgh pitching staff.Votto hopes he and the team can make amends for their two-games-and-out disappearance last time.The Canadian baseball people were pretty embarrassed by it and I know I was pretty disdappointed, he said. But were playing good competition. But the past tournament wont ignite me one way or another.Team Canada was able to play both games in 2009 in Toronto, at Rogers Centre, something that wont happen this year. So it is a different aspect for Votto.This is a new experience because the previous tournament was in Toronto and I slept in my own bed at home every night at my moms house. I took the Go train every day to and from the ballpark.I got to play in the stadium where I grew up watching the Blue Jays and that stadium inspired me to play baseball. So, to play there in front of the home fans, a great crowd, meant a lot to me, more personally, from a patriotic perspective.This one? Im not sure. Ill wait and see. Im very proud to put on the uniform and be a part of a team that is completely Canadian, he said. I hope the people in Canada tune in and we can give them something to cheer about.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Michael Bennett to Seahawks: Pay me or 'get rid of me'

Victor Cruz expects to be 'ready to go' for training camp

DeMarcus Cousins: All-NBA vote ‘absurd’ and ‘a joke’

Andrew Luck: Colts were 'gutsy' to keep Pagano, Grigson

White Sox suspend Chris Sale for 'destroying team equipment'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cubs pushing hard to land Aroldis Chapman

Report: Lesnar, Jones tested positive for same substance

Todd Bowles: Geno Smith 'can be a good starter' for Jets

Former 49ers OL: Gabbert will likely start over Kaepernick

Report: Le'Veon Bell recently completed DUI probation

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

10 NFL players set to become household names in 2016

Lou Holtz regrets making immigration 'joke' at RNC

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker