Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Joey Votto Backs out of Playing for Canada at World Baseball Classic

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Joey Votto Backs out of Playing for Canada at World Baseball Classic

Article excerpt

Joey Votto backs out of playing for Canada

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Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has declined to play for Canada at the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

The 33-year-old from Toronto was the National League's most valuable player in 2010 and is a four-time all-star. He was expected to anchor Canada's batting lineup.

"I have decided to decline this year's WBC event," Votto said in a statement posted to the Reds Twitter account on Wednesday.

"There were some aspects of my performance in 2016 that I have decided were lacking. I would like to use 2017 spring training for preparation."

Votto hit .326 in 2016 with a .434 on-base percentage, 29 home runs and 97 runs batted in, finishing seventh in NL MVP voting. He's a career .313 hitter with a . …

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