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Joey Votto On Players Who Want To Play Less And Make Less Money: "I Say Play More And Make More Money"

We simply do not deserve Joey Votto. The comments that he’s referencing were made by the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo about two weeks ago.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is advocating for a shorter season, even if that means a smaller paycheck for players.

“I think we play too much baseball,” Rizzo said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on ESPN 1000. “Yes, guys are going to take pay cuts. But are we playing this game for the money or do we love this game? I know it’s both, but in the long run it will make everything better.”

Joey Votto ain’t tryna play less baseball, dog. He’s trying to play MORE baseball. Let’s play a 215-game regular season WITH a 30-game spring training schedule PLUS the postseason. Let’s make the Division Series a best of seven, and go back to the days when the World Series was a best of nine. Just spitballing here, but how about making the games 12 innings? Perhaps we double it and give teams six outs per inning?

But in all seriousness, Votto is turning 35 years old in September. He’s been in the league for 12 seasons. And with the help of social media, the masses outside of Cincinnati are just now finding out what this guy’s voice sounds like. It’s not even about what his voice sounds like — it’s what comes out of his mouth when he speaks. It’s always gold. The man is an electric factory. You can FEEL his passion for baseball through the goddamn screen. He’s a showman! He’s as charismatic as The Rock for Christ’s sake. He’s one of the greatest ambassadors for the game of baseball that MLB currently has, yet that’s hardly ever recognized.

The narrative with Votto has always been that, because of the market that he plays in, he’s been underrated and his greatness has been overlooked. That narrative has played out for many years now, so I think — or at least, I hope — that everyone knows by now that Votto is a great baseball player. But this dude legitimately could’ve been the face of the league had he been marketed properly during his prime years. He clearly wasn’t, and he fell victim to MLB’s lackluster ability to market their own stars.

Same thing as Giancarlo Stanton when he was in Miami. It took half a season for Aaron Judge to enter the “Face of Baseball” conversation when Stanton had been doing the damn thing down in Miami for eight years as a constant quote machine, had the same kind of power as Judge, was the same size as Judge, and only a couple of years older.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. I’m just going to keep appreciating Votto both as a player and as a personality while the game still has him. Although, it’s a complete no-brainer that he’ll have a media career waiting for him the second that he retires, which I hope is not for a very long time.