Quote of the Day: discounting Papi's apology

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Truth is, we hold these guys to naively high standards, then expect not to be let down. The same guys ripping Ortiz, A-Rod, Clemens etc, etc. are the ones gulping the Cialis and getting Lasik. Personally, I don’t care anymore if David Ortiz has Dianabol in his Pez dispenser. I just want him to Man Up.

By now, the Five Stages of Denial are familiar: (1) Shock; (2) Denial (3) Indignance; (4) Slandering The Accuser and (5) Silence: “You must be joking. I didn’t do it. I can’t believe anyone would accuse me, after all I’ve done for the game. My accuser beats his wife and puts ketchup on his eggs. Under the advice of my attorney, I will have no further comment.”

Chronic sports liars, if they stay focused and follow the game plan, can find themselves in a weird parallel universe, in which the truth is whatever they’ve claimed it to be.

Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daugherty, not buying what Papi was selling. 

Like I said on Friday, I’m not sure why Papi even bothered with the statement he gave. Part of that is because, like Daugherty notes, we can’t really expect anything genuine from such an exercise. Another part of that, however, is that no matter what these guys say, they’re never going to satisfy the Paul Daughertys of the world.

Daugherty said that he would have been satisfied if Ortiz had said “Damn right I did it” or words to that effect. I have no doubt that he would have been happy to hear such a thing — having a truly unapologetic steroid user would be great for columnists’ “juicers are evil” pieces — but I am quite dubious that he would be satisfied.

Corey Knebel sets modern record for consecutive appearances with a strikeout

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Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.

Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.

Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.

Joey Votto thinks he can win the Home Run Derby, but hasn’t been invited yet

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Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.

In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”

Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.

Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.