Video: Joey Votto trolled Phillies fans

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Reds first baseman Joey Votto had himself some fun during Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Phillies. In the sixth inning, infielder Cesar Hernandez hit a soft liner just to the right of the first base line. Votto snagged the ball and appeared as if he was going to toss the souvenir into the crowd.

Instead, Votto turned around and tossed the ball to the dugout. As he returned to his position, he had what appeared to be a crap-eating grin on his face. Votto turned back to the crowd and pumped his fist.

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Phillies fans are not exactly known for their sense of humor, so Votto’s antics were of great offense to the city of Philadelphia. Votto was pilloried on social media. When he was made aware of the clamor over his actions, Votto bent down with purpose into a microphone and said “too bad,” as you can see in this CSN Philly video. Votto clarified that it was “definitely not the case” that he was intentionally not giving the souvenir to a kid. He said he didn’t want to give the ball to an adult that had been giving him a hard time throughout the game.

Votto joked, saying to a laughing throng of reporters, “I have no problems with any of the Philly fans… except for the Philly fan kids. I can’t stand the kids here.”

Despite the jokes, Votto went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in the Reds’ 9-4 victory. He finished the series hitless in 13 at-bats with six punch-outs. Votto now owns an uncharacteristic .215/.353/.355 triple-slash line on the year.

Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN on opening day

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Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.

Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.

“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”

Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.

Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.

“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.

Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.