Yankees present Chipper Jones with third base

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Because Alex Rodriguez isn’t doing much with it anyway.

In a pregame ceremony honoring the retiring future Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter and Andruw Jones presented Chipper Jones with the third base bag used at Yankee Stadium in last night’s game.

Of course, Chipper and Andruw were teammates in Atlanta for 12 years.

Not everyone wants to do the retirement tour, but Chipper has collected plenty of neat memorabilia by going out this way. The Reds also gave him a base. He collected a Stan Musial autographed jersey in St. Louis and a Braves banner that used to fly above Wrigley in his last game in Chicago.

Chipper, who had an RBI double in Tuesday night’s win, didn’t start today’s day game, but he will be available off the bench.

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

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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.