Daily Archives: March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013

In brief: Votto’s return, sadder but wiser

Last Game
The Reds were victorious over the White Sox yesterday, winning 7-3. Johnny Cueto started for the Reds and wasn’t that great: 2 runs (earned) on 3 hits in 4.0 innings of work. Fortunately for him, the offense came to play. Shin-Soo Choo went 4-for-4 with 2 runs scored. Todd Frazier went 3-for-4 with 1 RBI on a solo shot and 3 runs scored.

Next Game
The Reds have today off to watch WBC games. Team USA plays at 8 p.m.

Joey Votto in Team Canada regalia

Photo HT: Redlegs Review (whom Google says this photo came from) and also Blue Jays Nest (who is actually in the URL of the photo).

The Return of Votto
After leading 2-3 through the first seven innings of the game, Team Canada’s bullpen fell apart in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday. The Canucks and ended up losing a heartbreaker, 9-4, to Team USA.

It’s bad news for our neighbors to the north, but for Reds fans it means that Joey Votto will have no further opportunities to get hurt in WBC games. When news broke that Team Canada had gotten into a brawl with Team Mexico, I half expected Votto to come back with a hockey-player-style toothless grin.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
Despite the large number of talented players that come from Canada, Team Canada has never advanced beyond the first round in the World Baseball Classic.

March 11, 2013

Ken Griffey Jr, World Baseball Classic ambassador

Ken Griffey Jr on his camouflage jersey giveaway day

Ken Griffey Jr on his camouflage jersey giveaway day

The New York Times interviewed Ken Griffey, Jr over the weekend, talking to him about his family and his role as an ambassador for the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

Here in the U.S., we need to do a better job of supporting our team. The support isn’t as much as it should be. For me, I want a team where I have to turn guys away. I want to be the guy to say, “We’re already full.” You look at the enthusiasm from the other countries and how guys want to play for their team. I think it’s a little different here. But it can change, and it should change.

The WBC is definitely more popular in other countries than in the US. And it’s the same with me. I know I don’t go out of my way to watch any WBC games. In some ways, I think US interest in the tournament is depressed by the existence of MLB. With the exception of Canada, none of the other countries see major-league talent every day during the summer. This is their chance to see and compare their country’s athletes against the best.

For me, it feels like watching an all star version of spring training, with less of the meaningfulness of the actual All Star game. Of course, I’m not the target audience. I already like baseball; I don’t need to be sold.

I understand the desire to make it more popular in the US, and support from Griffey and the inclusion of bigger stars will help. But right now, I still feel the ending of the 2012 MLB season. And only the Cincinnati Reds playing real baseball can assuage that. The WBC is a pale substitute.