Votto in camp, a rainy camp
So it does rain the desert….
This was first horrible weather day out here around bucolic Reds complex in Goodyear. You know it’s a bad sign when high winds create a dust storm and tumbleweeds are rolling around. The first full squad workout was an abbreviated affair indeed. Much of it was moved indoors to the cages — something that would not have been as easy in Sarasota.
All 54 players on the spring roster are present and accounted for. The last four to check in were Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, Jonny Gomes and Miguel Cairo. Gomes was sporting a freshly shorn Mohawk and was proud that his new son, Colt, was born on Valentine’s Day. It is Gomes’ second child.
This was the first extended and in-person opportunity to speak with Votto since he signed his $38 million contract last month. You can see the full story shortly on MLB.com. I asked him if it was as life-changing as it would seem to have that kind of money and security.
“The only way it could be life changing is if I allow it to be life changing,” Votto said. “I think I have my priorities in check. I have my family, my friends ,myself, my dog, my free time. I have other interests, not just baseball. Most importantly, I feel like my job is a huge priority of mine. I enjoy my job, money or not. I feel the exact same way. I love competing. I want to see how good I can be. I want to play for a winning team. I feel lucky because I am one of those guys that does play for a winning team.”
Not in the story was a quote from Votto about winning some of the awards and accolades he received over the winter. Besides the NL MVP, he was recognized in his native country as the Canadian Athlete of the Year. That was big to him.
“I won a ton of really cool Canadian awards. Fans in Cincinnati or Americans in general may not understand how important something like that is to someone like myself,” Votto said. “To be on a list of a ton of fantastic athletes is pretty incredible, also in an Olympic year. It’d be like beating USA Basketball. I’m very proud of those. The MVP is definitely at the top of the list. But winning Canada’s athlete of the year is pretty darn close.”
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