Joey Votto's promise of a donkey for Zack Cozart has taken on a life of its own

All-Star will get his own burro

CINCINNATI -- In retrospect, Zack Cozart thinks he should have aimed higher.

“I should have started with a Lamborghini,” Cozart said. “But I like donkeys so much maybe a donkey is my Lamborghini.”

Cozart won’t get a Lambo, but he will get a donkey Sunday afternoon if he’s named to the All-Star Team, thanks to teammate Joey Votto.

Zack Cozart (2) of the Cincinnati Reds is congratulated by Joey Votto (19) after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during MLB game action as Russell Martin #55 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on at Rogers Centre on May 30, 2017. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

“I've got a donkey in the works,” Votto said. “I’m anticipating a piece of news Sunday that will get Zack in the All-Star Game. But the donkey has already been spoken for."

Here’s the back story: Cozart likes donkeys. He mentioned it to Votto. Votto promised Cozart a donkey if he made the All-Star team. Cozart looks like a shoo-in at this point. He’s leading the voting over Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cozart also has the best overall numbers among National League shortstops, so he’ll likely be chosen as a sub if he’s not voted in.

The donkey story took a life of its own. Votto did a TV interview in which he talked about the donkey.

“I’ve talked to my donkey dealer,” he casually mentioned in the interview.

Cozart is constantly asked about it. That was the case when he did an interview Wednesday. Votto ordered up a donkey suit and donned it on the field before batting practice, while Cozart did an Intentional Talk segment with the MLB Network.

“Somebody wanted me to wear it," Cozart said. “I wasn’t going to do it. So, of course, I knew somebody was going to come out there. The guys loved it. (Kevin) Millar and (Chris) Rose were cracking up.

“This donkey thing has taken off. It’s crazy.”

Cozart was wearing a “Life is Better with a Donkey” T-shirt.

Cozart’s wife, Chelsea, has overcome her initial doubts.

“I think she’s OK with it,” Cozart said. “She said, ‘Ok, I want you to be an All-Star.’ I’ve had a lot of offers to take care of it in Cincinnati. That’s a positive.

“I don’t have spot yet. That’s going to happen. It’s a great excuse for me to wiggle my way into getting some land. I’ve been on the wife about that for a while.”

The story will live on.

“We don’t have a name yet,” Votto said. “So that’s big deal.”

Cozart has his ideas.

“I like basic human names,” he said. 

John Fay is a freelance sports columnist; this column represents his opinion. Contact him at johnfayman@aol.com

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