We often criticize athletes for being too guarded in their comments to the media — except, of course, when they say something outside the norm we find unpleasant.
So it was nice to read the response from Joey Votto to a question about making the All-Star team for the first time since 2013.
“I made the All-Star team four consecutive times, and after a while I took them for granted,” Votto said. “I expected to be there. It wasn’t until I started taking a few years off from making the team that I realized that’s something that has a good deal of meaning and something a player can be proud of.
“It’s an event that’s amazingly run and exciting to be a part of. Without sounding too self-involved, I missed it. I missed being a part of that. I missed representing Cincinnati, and I missed the opportunities in the past.”
Votto managed to be honest without sounding selfish, expressing genuine gratitude without seeming patronizing, either.
Maybe that’s not a huge deal, but I thought it was worth pointing out.
A consummate pro who probably benefits from having been around long enough he knows not to worry too much about what people say about him, Votto has learned not to take these honors for granted — just like we should not take a simple, open honest statement from a famous athlete that way.