Big League Stew - MLB

Apparently, Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto(notes) never caught the All-Star spirit.

Votto refused to congratulate Chicago Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd(notes) on his performance — one that helped the National League claim home-field advantage in the World Series — because Votto's temporary teammate comes from a despised division rival.

Byrd made a head's up play in right field that forced Boston's David Ortiz(notes) at second base, and also worked a key walk in a seventh-inning rally that led to the NL's first victory at the All-Star game since 1996.

Such an effort certainly is worth a high five ... a handshake ... a wave ... a wink ... a nod ... a glance ... a happy thought.

Not from Pal Joey.

Via the planetary front-runner, ESPN:

"I don't like the Cubs," Votto said. "And I'm not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back. But because he made that really cool play, it turned out to be a really cool experience. I'm really glad we got the win today."

What a leech — and a sorry excuse for an All-Star.

Even if the harmless Cubs weren't 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Reds in the NL Central, you're supposed to check the intraleague rivalries at the door for the All-Star Game. Ask ... oh, anybody who's ever made a team for either side.

Votto obviously is new here.

[Photos: See the Reds slugger in action]

And, how did he help the NL win? Oh, yeah, he didn't. Votto went 0 for 2.

It's a good thing Votto had Reds teammates on either side (Brandon Phillips(notes), pictured, and Scott Rolen(notes) to the left) during introductions, or else he would have had to interact with the "enemy." The horror.

He should have made the NL roster the first time around but needed to win a final Internet vote to be recognized. The "Vote Votto" process should have made Votto especially happy to be in Anaheim. Yet, he seems to be harboring lingering bitterness about ... something.

Or maybe that's just how he is.

Grateful BLS h/t: Red Hot Mama.

[Video: A.L. manager's big blunder]

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