Both Votto and Bruce own 21 home runs. They are friends, yes. They are in friendly competition, yes.
Asked if they were, Votto said, “Very, very much so. We get on each other and there is a little half-smirk when one or the other does something. I guess it is called one upmanship. He is one of those guys who is just so good that it is nice to have someone at that level to compete with.”
Votto hit the longest, but he smiled and said, “A homer is a homer. He hit two today and so did I.”
Bruce smiled equally wide over the competition question with Votto.
“It is friendly competition,” he said. “We push it other unconsciously — I mean subconsciously. If we were unconscious we wouldn’t be awake.”
Both are wide, wide awake.
“We just have a good time, play the game hard and let our abilities take care of itself,” Bruce added.
Baker sees the competition, too, and likes it;.
“It is good to see them matching each other and it shows how bright our future is and how bright their future is,” he said. “They’re good friends. They hang together, they play catch together. That’s what you want. You want those guys close. There is no envy and no jealousy involved.”
Baker asked what the record is for a rookie hitting home runs, since Votto and Bruce are rookies and when somebody said, “Frank Robinson, 38,” Baker laughed and said, “Whoa. That’s one that is going to stand for a long time and has stood for a long time.”