FOX19 - Joey Votto has a message to anyone who doubts his team: I'll confront you.
The Reds started full team spring training this week in Arizona with expectations tempered after trading some of the team's biggest stars. Arguably the team's biggest star, former MVP Joey Votto, said he'll confront anyone who says the Reds chances to win are over before the season even starts.
"I refuse to go into a season thinking that it's already set in stone, that we're going to be last place or we're not going to make the playoffs," said Votto. "That's probably the one thing I'll confront people on - if there's any conversation about us being a poor club or a team that has no chance."
Votto isn't the only veteran Reds player fighting back against so-called expert predictions.
"I always say you can go online and read the crap you all write - 'oh, we're predicting this trade' - they never happen," said Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey. "Who had Houston going as far as they did? Didn't you say the Nationals were going to win it? That didn't work out. I think predictions are pretty much crap."
Several publications are picking the Reds to finish with one of the worst records in baseball. The USA Today predicted the Reds will lose 101 games this season. Only one team in franchise history has ever lost 100 games in a season.
"I've come into this season expecting to be a part of a club that competes and has a chance to go to the playoffs and the World Series and the projections - if there's any of that carried into our clubhouse, I'm certainly not going to represent it," Votto added.
The Reds will lean on younger players this season to replace some of the big names traded away last season and this off-season. Team manager Bryan Price said his team will not concede a losing season, but does want his younger players to learn on the job this season.
"You can't always throw a life ring out to someone who's struggling," said manager Bryan Price. "The most important thing is to know when to throw that life ring and when they have to tread water for themselves and learn from experience."
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