Ken Broo talks Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and the upcoming season

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As nice as it is out here now, I can't imagine what this place must be like in August. I keep hearing about 'dry heat'

I don't care, 120 degrees is still 120 degrees, dry or not. And how did anyone live here before AC? Just askin'.

Just another day in the sun for the Reds.

Hello, I'm Joey Votto

I spoke with a number of players, including Joey Votto today. The always cerebral Votto has taken to talk radio, WLW, to field phone calls from fans. It seemed odd to me at first, but Votto has done this on three occasions in the last month.

Today he explained away. Votto maintains that the public really doesn't know him. He thinks he's perceived as boring and humorless. In truth, a lot of his TV interviews come off that way.He also told me he knows he's sarcastic. And nothing plays worse in print journalism than sarcasm.

In real life, he claims, he laughs, jokes and isn't the intense person he appears to be on the baseball field.  Whenever I interview Votto, I come away with the same sense:  he is a very thoughtful person, in reflection and in his kindness to others.  He is extremely well read.

In other words: he's not your typical baseball player.

By the way, Votto told me he thinks the Reds of 2014 will be a lot like the Reds of 2013 in terms of success.  Votto believes with a few breaks and decent team health, the 2014 squad may win a few games more than the 90 they won last season.

But will that be enough to make it to the playoffs again?

Talk to me, Johnny

Through translator Tomas Vera, I interviewed Johnny Cueto today. He told me he's over the various muscle maladies that plagued him in 2013. He says a different training regime this past off season should help prevent what happened to him last summer. He also said he'd be honored to get the ball on Opening Day, but understands that may not fall his way.  

And yes, he still plans to use the "El Tiante" wind up motion.

Around the Horn

There was a lot of work today on infield pop-ups, communication during such and hitting cut off men. Those are referred to as fundamentals. The Reds have been fairly good at that at certain positions recently, witness the Gold Gloves by Votto and Brandon Phillips.

But not they're not golden everywhere.

Meet the Boss

I talked with Reds owner Bob Castellini today about a wide variety of things. No, he's not satisfied with what the team has accomplished on his watch. But Big Bob refused to make a prediction on 2014. He's done that in the past and the team hasn't quite lived up to it.

But the revenues have increased under his watch, as have a number of other things like the number of affiliates on the Reds Radio Network. He told me he's most proud of the pride and swagger that's come back to the team under his watch.

Run Billy, Run

Tomorrow, I'll be sitting down with Billy Hamilton to talk about leading off (Walt Jocketty told me today that's the plan for the team right now), as well as being able to acquit himself well against major league pitching.

It'll be another day in the sun -- protected of course by SPF 45, all spectrum.

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