Votto will play for Canada in WBC

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 15, 2013
Reds first baseman Joey Votto will go ahead and play for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, pleased with the way his knee has handled the first two weeks of spring training. Votto got the last spot on Canada's team, but wanted to waited to see how his left knee felt before making a commitment. He had surgery to repair torn cartilage last season, missed 48 games and wasn't at full strength when he returned for the end of last season. So far, his knee has felt fine. He even hit a home run last week, something he hadn't done since June 24 because he couldn't push off the knee after the. He played in eight of the Reds' first 11 exhibition games, going 6 for 16 with one homer and two doubles. Votto grew up near Toronto and played for Canada in the 2009 WBC. He has received the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's Tip O'Neill Award each of the last three seasons. ''I look forward to playing for the team,'' Votto said. ''I look forward to being part of tournament. I had a great time last time. I never got to play in the Olympics. This is the next best thing.'' The only thing holding him back was the uncertainty over his knee. He didn't want the WBC to get in the way of getting ready for the season. ''I wanted to make sure that I was ready for the Reds and my primary commitment, and to prepare to be a part of a championship team in 2013,'' Votto said. The NL's 2010 MVP expects to be a designated hitter for Canada and split time with Minnesota's Justin Morneau at first base. ''I'd imagine I'll share time with another Most Valuable Player,'' Votto said. Votto reached his decision on Monday after talking to Reds owner Bob Castellini, general manager Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker, who supported the move. The Reds blocked starter Johnny Cueto from pitching in the WBC because he was coming off an injury. ''If he's OK, I'm all for it,'' Baker said. ''If he's not OK, he's not going to say he's OK. The way I look at it, Joey is like a national treasure. You want to be able to always go home. Joey's the main man.'' Votto batted .556 for Canada during the WBC in 2009. ''I had a great time in Toronto in 2009,'' Votto said. ''I hope we have a better time and do some winning.'' The Canadian team was eliminated after two games in 2009, but Votto doesn't think that it makes a difference in this year's Classic. ''I would imagine with the two straight losses, the Canadian baseball people were a little embarrassed,'' Votto said. ''I know I was pretty disappointed but we're playing good competition. You do the best you can. I don't care about the past tournament. I'm just going to try to play well and help my team win the tournament.'' Canada opens against Italy on March 8 and will play the U.S. two days later.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Most strikeouts by a hitter in a single season
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aroldis Chapman explains why he chose to return to Yankees

Brandon Marshall: Bryce Petty used to be ‘fat and overweight’

NFL: Ezekiel Elliott investigation is still ‘active’ and ‘ongoing’

Report: Relationship between Jeff Fisher, Rams GM is ‘toxic’

Ex-Eagle: Strippers told him that Donovan McNabb hated him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Admiral rips Kaepernick during Pearl Harbor speech

Kevin Love has great tweet about his mucous malfunction

Houston AD seemingly refutes Kiffin rumors with clever tweet

Dana White: Conor McGregor will appear on ‘Game of Thones’

Report: Aroldis Chapman signs with Yankees

Le’Veon Bell thinks Giants were trying to hurt him

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Four stinkiest games remaining on the 2016 NFL schedule

Ten young NBA players developing into stars

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/7: The date we got to know Bo

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

Ten most intriguing non-NY6 bowl games

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

MLB 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

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

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