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The Loop

Joey Votto gets beaned, politely tosses ball back to pitcher, is such a nice guy that it's almost concerning

The running joke with the great people of Canada is that they are too nice, too polite, almost kind to a fault. One of the shining examples of this in sports occurred this past fall, when Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly apologized to former New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid after scoring a fluke goal on him. Rielly's fellow countryman Joey Votto one-upped him on Wednesday night during the Cincinnati Reds' home game against the Miami Marlins with an all-world nice-guy move of his own.

With a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Votto stepped to the plate with a runner on second facing Marlins pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. On the very first pitch of the at-bat, Chen threw a 90 mph fastball directly at Votto's right shoulder. At first, Votto took a few steps forward appearing as if he was going to go after Chen and start the team's second fight this week. But kindness prevailed, as Votto picked up the ball, politely tossed it back to Chen and ran to first:

If Chen did do this intentionally, he certainly picked the right guy to bean. That's not to say Votto isn't afraid to be confrontational, but Chen's chances of not being attacked are much greater than if he had intentionally hit Yasiel Puig. Votto was clearly in a good mood, taking his base and likely apologizing along the way for not jumping out of the way of the ball sooner. You won't find a greater guy in the MLB.