Dusty Baker on the Joey Votto signing: “It means a lot not only for the franchise but for the city. It means that kids grow up emulating Joey Votto. In modern baseball, either a guy declares free agency or the team trades him. People don’t basically stay around that long. It means a lot to city to have Joey as the face of the franchise. He’s a very good role model for the task.”
Baker was surprised by the deal.
“I was surprised by the speed of which it was accomplished,” he said. “Usually deals don’t come together this quickly.”
Baker thinks the deal is a good sign for smaller markets.
“It’s hard to compete with the bigger markets,” Baker said. “You see the guys who left or couldn’t come up with a deal — I don’t know the circumstances — they usually end up in big markets. The New Yorks, LAs, Philly, Chicago, Detroit. Look at Anaheim they sign a free almost every year.
“I’m glad for Joey. This guy is dedicated. He works hard. I’m extremely happy for him. I think I’ll change my son’s position for shortstop to third base.”
Baker thinks Reds’ ownership has a plan to be competitive, despite dedicating so much payroll to Votto.
“People on the business side . . . you don’t get to own team without having a business sense,” he said. “People who own teams are among the top business people in the country. They didn’t get to that point by being foolish with their money.”