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Joey Votto: "it's kind of fun to play the heel"

Jul 16, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

Joey Votto is rude. No, he was just joking. But he really doesn't like the Cubs or their fans. Wait, that's just him being competitive. Confused? Yeah, me too.

I posted that thing the other day about Joey Votto saying he didn’t like the Cubs (and updated later when I realized that I was taking the comments too seriously).  More along those lines today in a post from C. Trent Rosecrans, in which Votto explains that yes, he was joking around a bit when he said that after the All-Star Game, but no, he’s not totally prepared to be all friendly with inter-divisional rivals either.

The post has a video in which Votto tells a young Cubs fan “I don’t sign for Cubs
fans.” Votto expands:

“I don’t,” Votto said, with a laugh. “I try not to. They’re in our same
division and we play good baseball against them. I think it’s kind of
fun to play the heel. Not everything has to be friendly, we take it
seriously every time we go there. It’s not just a game to us, it’s our
job.”

Votto traces his Cub-dislike to 2007, when he was called
up in September and watched the Cubs celebrate a division title at Great
American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

“I still remember that now, I
remember them looking at the scoreboard and Cubs fans cheering and
everyone in the stands wearing blue,” Votto said. “I still remember that
and it meant a lot to me. I guess I should probably let it go, but I’m
not an easy forgiver.”

Most of all, it sounds like Votto is just embracing, however, uncomfortably, the heel mantle a la professional wrestling. He even uses those words himself, saying “it’s kind of fun to play the heel.”

Which I kind of like, because as I’ve said many times, heel-turns are fun. There should more of those in life to break up all of the moral ambiguity. Having a villain is rather cleansing in a weird sort of way, ya know?

But really, if you’re not going to totally own it like Ric Flair or someone, you’re just giving off mixed signals.

(thanks to lar at Wezen-Ball for the heads up)

  1. Old Gator - Jul 16, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Er – I get what you mean about villains being fun, but to a kid? What an asshole.

  2. Schlom - Jul 16, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    The kid was a Cubs fan, odds are he deserved being snubbed (if not now but then for future behavior). Good for Votto to stand up to those asshole Cub fans.

  3. CYGNUS X-1 - Jul 16, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    first of all kid or no kid why would you want an autograph of somebody who is not on your team?seriously if you are a cub fan what do you want with a Joey Votto autograph to begin with?something tells me it would have been a e-bay that night had he signed it.as reds fan growing up in a cubs town in Indiana I have always hated the cubs and while they have had some good players over the years in no way did I want to get the autographs of those losers!

  4. Old Gator - Jul 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    Probably what tells you it would have been on eBay is that that’s what you would have done with it. It may come as something of a shock to you to know that there are what we call baseball fans out there who collect autographs of prominent players from all teams, despite what their own rooting interests might be. Not everyone is as encumbered by jingoistic tunnelvision for their hometown teams or the juvenile impulse to put down fans of other teams as you seem be.

  5. Rusty Shackleford - Jul 16, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    So he doesn’t like Cub fans because they filled up the Reds stadium?
    Umm, shouldn’t he hate Reds fans that didn’t show up instead?

  6. Bluespuck - Jul 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    Cubs kids grow up into adult Cubs fans; who, parenthetically, rank slightly above neanderthal on the evolutionary scale. Joey was helping this kid out by crushing his dreams at an early age. That is what the kid has to look forward to for the rest of his life as a Cubs fan.

  7. Old Gator - Jul 17, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    He also seems blissfully oblivious to the fact that the fans of other teams pay a pretty sizable chunk of his salary. Tell you what, Joey, if you want to show us that you’re not a complete hypocrite as well as a complete asshole, why not have the team calculate how much of your paycheck is subsidized by other teams’ ticket buyers and simply give back that part of your income every year? Of course, that might require Joey to do some counting on his fingers, and I’m not sure he’s bright enough for that anyway.

  8. skysoxwiz - Aug 30, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    I’m a Cards fan who likes Joey Votto. I don’t like fraternization with your opponents…this sort of palsy-walsy we’re all friends and it’s just a game stuff. It’s old school to begrudge your opponent anything….. I like the way Votto approaches his craft and his team loyalty. Besides, I don’t like the Cubs EITHER!

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