Reds use T-shirts to back Votto

Published 2:24 am Thursday, July 8, 2010

NEW YORK — The Cincinnati Reds are wearing their All-Star support for Joey Votto.

The entire ballclub donned “Vote Votto” red T-shirts during batting practice Wednesday before their game against the New York Mets to elicit votes from fans for their teammate, who is one of four finalists for the last NL roster spot for next week’s All-Star game in Anaheim.

Padres closer Heath Bell was the fifth finalist, but he was selected as a replacement for injured Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

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“It’s pretty cool,” Votto said. “I appreciate my teammates wearing them.”

While Votto appreciates the support, Reds manager Dusty Baker said that it was the slugger’s teammates who chose to wear the shirts, not Votto.

“I’m too shy to get into this stuff. I just enjoy doing my job,” Votto said. “I like that it’s for something positive and it’s a byproduct of us both winning and me playing well. That’s a good thing.”

Votto was leading Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman, Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez and Atlanta’s Billy Wagner in voting that ends Thursday at 4 p.m. EDT. He was happy to hear Bell was out of the running.