The Cincinnati Reds shared a press conference with Joey Votto on Facebook Live on Monday, one day before the 89th All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.
Votto, a six-time All-Star, answered all manners of questions from reporters. Here are a few highlights of the session:
On former teammate Shin-Soo Choo being a first-time All-Star: “I was stunned when I found out it was his first time. If this is his first time, I’m very proud for him. I’m excited to see him. I plan on taking a picture with him. ... We spent so much time together (in 2013). He’s a very hard-working, sincere man.”
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If you could change one thing about baseball: “I love the game as it is. I think I can continue that thought with some of the chatter about potentially taking away the DH from the National League. I wouldn’t change the game. I get excited about the National League experience and interleague play and the two leagues mixing together.”
On his declining home run numbers: “I’m always trying to round out my game. I hit 26 home runs before the All-Star break last year. I would never have expected that. And I’ve got nine this year, and I wouldn’t have expected that. I’m just going to keep playing and try to be a balanced hitter.”
On the shift: “I would be surprised if they removed the shift, but as someone who has really been dinged by the shift, I think I would welcome it. If there’s only two guys on one side of the field, I’m going to take what I can get. Once they started shifting more without question, I adjusted my approach. You have to, or else you get burned by it; .290 turns into .250 turns into .220 like nothing. We’re really talking about 10 or 20 or 30 hits. If you don’t make the adjustment, you’ll lose all those hits.”
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If you could pick any past player from history to get a drink with: “We’d probably have cereal. ... My cliche answer would be Ted Williams. I think now it’s Rogers Hornsby. I think that’d be great.”
What are your strengths: “I can hit the ball hard on a consistent basis. I can choose how I want to hit the ball on a consistent basis. So if I want to hit fly balls all the time, I can. If I want to hit line drives all the time, I can.”
On interim manager Jim Riggleman: “He’s on top of us. He expects us to play a certain way. He challenges us. I think he brings a good energy to us during the game, after the game. He listens well. He’s really done a very good job.”