As a country, Canada has some sights to see. Like Banff National Park, Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, the Parliament buildings, Old Montreal and the Cabot Trail to name a few. Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker knows of another attraction. “He’s the top man in Canada as far as baseball, he’s a national treasure when it comes to what he means for his country,” Baker told reporters after Reds first baseman Joey Votto decided to play in the third World Baseball Classic, which begins Friday. “You always want to be able to go home,” said Baker. “A lot of the guys on the Canadian team backed out on their country. Joey is there for his country.” Votto had two knee surgeries last season and Canada’s highest-paid athlete wanted to wait until the last moment before committing to play. This spring Votto, who will stay in Reds camp until the WBC opener when Canada Italy Friday, played in eight games batting .375 (6-for-16) with one homer and five RBIs. He’s playing with approval owner Bob Castellini, general manager Walt Jocketty and Baker. “I never got to play in the Olympics, this is the next best,” Votto told reporters. “I had a great time in Toronto in 2009, slept in my own bed, took the GO train in and played in the stadium I grew up watching the Blue Jays, a park that inspired me to play. “To play in front of the home fans, a great crowd meant a lot, more personally, from a patriotic perspective. This one? I’m proud to put on the uniform and be a part of a team completely Canadian. I hope people in Canada tune in and we give them something to cheer about.” Canada lost reliever Jesse Crain of the Chicago White Sox on Monday morning due to an injury and will try to replace him with lefty Evan Rutckyj.
Votto comes to Canada's baseball rescue
Toronto Sun | Mar 5