The fans don't care for the All-Star rosters either

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This time it counts! But nobody cares!

By a margin of 56 percent to 42 percent, fans said the All-Star game
shouldn’t be used to determine which league’s champion gets to open the
World Series at home . . . In other poll results: More than half of
fans said every team shouldn’t have a guaranteed spot on the All-Star
rosters. Eighty-two percent said players penalized under MLB’s drug
policy shouldn’t be allowed into the All-Star game in the year they are
punished.

Can’t say I disagree with any of that. Of course, as the article notes,
there’s no getting around these silly rules until at least 2011, which
is when the new collective bargaining agreement will be negotiated. And
call me crazy, but I think the union and the owners will have higher
priorities than the construction of the All-Star Game.

Personally, I’d settle for no rules changes if a manager would
simply announce ahead of time — like, before the voting even gets
seriously underway — that he has no intention of making sure every
player gets in the game and that, instead, he plans on managing to win
the game. Doing such a thing would eliminate the problems of marginal
All-Stars mucking up the game and making a mockery of the putatively
high stakes.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.