UPDATE: OK, so maybe Joey Votto wasn't being rude

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UPDATE: Upon a few hours of reflection I’m fairly certain I
totally whiffed
here. I haven’t seen video of Votto’s comments (I based my post on ESPN
Chicago’s linked story), but logic suggests that Votto’s tone here
probably
mattered a hell of a lot and it’s entirely possible, if not probable,
that Votto was goofing off a bit here. When I read it through the first
time I assumed that
Votto’s comments was a straight up “I really didn’t want to congratulate
Marlon Byrd” thing, and both re-reading the story and using basic
common sense, I don’t think it’s fair to assume that. I’m not saying I
totally endorse the “I don’t like the Cubs” preamble to his answer, but
that’s kind of minor if, indeed, Votto was being a little tongue in
cheek.

If I had to do the post over again — and since it’s the
Internet, you
can’t really erase what you did before — I probably would have just
made it a stand alone “quote of the day” and let you all try to
figure out what the hell Votto was getting at if anything rather than
make the assumption I made.

Not trying to use it as an excuse, but I write close to 100 posts a week
and, dammit, not all of them are going to be good. This is one of those
not-good ones. Apologies.

4:15 P.M: Dave at Big League Stew alerted me to this bit of lunacy from Joey Votto yesterday, when asked to comment on Marlon Byrd making a couple of key plays to help lead the NL to victory:

“I don’t like the Cubs.  And I’m not going to pat anybody
with a Cubs uniform on the back. But because he made that really cool
play, it turned out to be a really cool experience. I’m really glad we
got the win today.”

Thanks for the win, but no thanks to you, Byrd. I’m sure there are a ton of old timers who would say that they were never friendly with the opposition, but coming in this day and age, in reference to a guy who — at least in the context of yesterday — was Votto’s own teammate, this comes off as really damn juvenile.

This is especially true directed at Byrd who — based on what people have told me — is a really, really nice guy who would probably be high-fiving Votto if the situations were reversed.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.