Joey Votto still hasn’t decided if he’s playing in the World Baseball Classic

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World Baseball Classic games begin this weekend, yet Joey Votto still hasn’t made a decision about whether he’ll play for Team Canada.

Votto’s status for the tournament is in question because of the pair of knee surgeries he had last season, but he’s healthy enough to have played in five spring training games for the Reds already.

Votto explained the delayed decision to Barry Bloom of MLB.com:

I don’t think it would be fair to anybody to make a commitment like that and then back out right beforehand. I just want to make sure I’m healthy.

Which is fine, except if his health is truly still in question just days before the start of the tournament it would seem like a no-brainer to skip the WBC. And the Reds would probably prefer that too.

Team Canada workouts begin Monday and they have an exhibition game Wednesday … against the Reds. However, even if Votto decides to play for Canada he’s unlikely to see any WBC action until the games actually count.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”