Bravo, Joey Votto

Joey Votto is the first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. He been having a pretty good year, so he naturally made the NL All-Star Team. Good for him.

The normal procedure for this event has been to just smile and be all friendly-friendly towards everyone. But Votto decided do away with that bad tradition.

Votto refused to congratulate Chicago Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd on his performance — one that helped the National League claim home-field advantage in the World Series — because Votto’s temporary teammate comes from a despised division rival.

“I don’t like the Cubs,” Votto said. “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.”

I’m all for players being friendly towards each other whenever they damn well please. If Ortiz and Jeter want to chit-chat before a game, good for them. But I want them to be doing it because they want to do it, not because they feel obligated.

I’m glad Votto decided to put passion for his team above being extra friendly to a stranger. He was on the field, even if it was the All-Star field. Not only is his behavior acceptable in the given context, but it’s laudable.

That said, Cubs-Reds? Really? That’s the rivalry he thinks is important?