Votto would be honored to win NL MVP Award
World Series title remains No. 1 atop first baseman's wish list
PHILADELPHIA -- As they might say on "Dancing with the Stars," the voting is complete and the results are being tabulated. Once the postseason is over, Reds first baseman Joey Votto could very well be the National League Most Valuable Player.Votto normally eschews most talk about his individual gains, but he didn't duck the questions after the Reds completed their pre-playoffs workout Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. "I would be totally full of it if I said I don't want to win an MVP award," Votto said. "I've played well. I gave myself an opportunity. It's obviously out of my hands. I think I've done what I've can. If an award of that magnitude comes my way, that's fantastic. I would really appreciate that." Votto finished second in the NL behind Carlos Gonzalez with a .324 average. His 37 homers were third behind Albert Pujols and Adam Dunn, and his 113 RBIs were also third behind Pujols and Gonzalez. The 27-year-old Votto didn't feel he needed to have a great postseason to validate the regular-season performance. "I could go 0-for-the-playoffs and we win the World Series, and that's a pretty successful year," he said. "It's getting to the point of my career where all I care about wins." In Game 1, two of Toronto's favorites will get a high-spotlight matchup on Wednesday. Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay will be starting for the Phillies. Although Halladay is American, Votto is the Ontario native and is expected to have an entire nation backing him. "I know Canadians. They root for their guys first," Votto said. "They pull for their country first. Roy was fun to watch, but I think they're cheering for someone from Toronto."
Baker expects young club to proceed as usual
PHILADELPHIA -- The Reds have limited resources in terms of playoff experience against the Phillies. Only a handful of players have experienced October baseball, including Scott Rolen, Orlando Cabrera, Bronson Arroyo and Miguel Cairo.Reds manager Dusty Baker wasn't concerned about his younger clubhouse being overwhelmed by the moment of their first postseason action. Baker expected it to be business as usual, as much as possible. "We are so routine oriented that you don't want to take guys out of their routine," Baker said before the Reds' Tuesday workout. "At this point in the season, everybody has their own routine. Some guys play cards. Some guys just chill. Some guys watch Judge Judy, whatever they do. "You don't know how people are going to react. One thing I do urge for them is to be nervous, not scared. That's what Hank Aaron told me years ago. That's probably the best piece of advice I've had in a clutch-type scenario -- anything, any job, any interview, anything." One Reds player that's experienced playoff baseball -- in Philadelphia -- is left fielder Jonny Gomes. In 2008, Gomes was with the Rays when they played the Phillies in the World Series, but he was not on the active roster. "They will let you know they like the Phillies more than the Reds. That creates a little buzz here," Gomes said. "These fans, kind of like our fans now, were really hungry for a championship when we came in here in 2008. They definitely created that 10th man or home-field advantage. We just have to stay within ourselves and try to keep them out of the game. It's not like football where we might go off-sides."
Catcher Miller with Reds in case of injury
PHILADELPHIA -- The Reds will carry two catchers on their 25-man playoff roster in Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan. But veteran catcher Corky Miller is with the club in case there is an injury."But he's not eligible," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "We didn't have to send for him, plus we need help in the bullpen, too." The Reds would be allowed to add someone -- position-for-position -- if a player was injured during the playoffs. Players can also be added or subtracted after each round.
Heisey's family torn between Reds, Phillies
PHILADELPHIA -- The family of Reds reserve outfielder Chris Heisey will be awash in the color red during the National League Championship Series -- but will it be for the Reds or Phillies? Heisey is from Mechanicsburg, Pa., which is less than two hours from Philadelphia."It's going to be pretty crazy to be playing the Phillies in the playoffs," Heisey said. "I grew up a Phillies fan and a lot of my family likes the Phillies, although they like the Reds now. If some of them show up in Phillies gear, I'm going to disown them. Hopefully they don't. I won't have to worry about my Mom or my wife's family."