There are no placards hanging in the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse that say, "Keep a stiff upper lip," but there are, indeed, more stiff upper lips these days than on the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace.

It is all due to the loss of All-Star first baseman Joey Votto for three weeks after he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday.

The team, of course, is trying to convince itself that the sky isn't falling and, in fact, when a TV report persisted on that line of questioning Manager Dusty Baker asked, "Did you read Chicken Little? Do you still read it to your kids?"

The best man to put it all in perspective is the team's veteran, the team's spokesman, the team's solid rock foundation, Scott Rolen.

"You have to put it into perspective and I'm not going to say, 'Hey, we're fine, it's no big deal,'" said Rolen. "He is one of the best players in the league and he drops out of the No. 3 hole in our lineup that's not a good thing by any means."

Rolen knows of what he speaks because he has fought shoulder and back issues for several years. He missed the final two months of last season after shoulder surgery and missed 80 games because of two sessions on the disabled list.