Donkey details: Votto’s pursuit of Cozart’s All-Star prize is “serious”

Zack Cozart sat a spell with media Monday, and the Reds' shortstop fielded many a question about donkeys, or more specifically, the donkey that Cincinnati teammate Joey Votto is going to buy him as a reward for making his first All-Star Game start.
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Zack Cozart sat a spell with media Monday, and the Reds' shortstop fielded many a question about donkeys, or more specifically, the donkey that Cincinnati teammate Joey Votto is going to buy him as a reward for making his first All-Star Game start.

As one might imagine, the tale of Zack Cozart's pending donkey acquisition was quite popular Monday when MLB All-Stars met media. The Reds' shortstop and first baseman Joey Votto were big hits in Marlins Park, where folks want to know all about Joey's gift to Zack.

As details emerge, it has been learned that this began in spring training more than a year ago, in 2016, when -- according to MLB.com columnist Anthony Castrovince -- Votto checked in on his teammate thusly:

"What'd you do yesterday?" Votto asked . . . [one] morning.

"I took Cooper to feed the donkeys," Cozart replied.

"Oh," said Votto. "You like donkeys?"

"Yeah," Cozart replied, "I like donkeys."

From the idea of Cozart and his son having a soft spot for Shrek’s pal, Votto offered to buy the shortstop an animal if he made the All-Star Game, which he did not last season.

The offer stood for this season, though, and Votto lobbied Reds fans to vote for Cozart. He even dressed up as a donkey one day at Great American Ball Park. It worked; the Reds’ shortstop led the National League in voting at his position. He’ll start tonight, and bat ninth for NL manager Joe Maddon of the Cubs. So, guess who’s on the way to a shortstop near you?

There remain issues. There is no donkey just yet. Some remain skeptical.

And donkeys are not exactly easy to find.

"Once I started to make calls and give people my American Express," Votto reported, "it became serious."

Cozart doesn’t have a place in Cincinnati to keep his prize, so he’s asked his mother to keep the animal on her open land near Nashville.

It could make an appearance soon in Great American Ball Park, as Votto hopes to deliver the famed donkey  to Cozart on the field in a pregame ceremony.

"We're just trying to make sure it's a donkey that can handle the stadium and the fans and stuff like that, because we're going to deliver it on the field,'' Votto said. "It's not just Zack's donkey. It feels like it's the fan base's [donkey], because they did all the work to vote him in.''

Maybe it will look something like this:

🤣🤣🥕 pic.twitter.com/DLHnfX1s4Y— urbanhorsedoc (@urbanhorsedoc) July 3, 2017

Thus will begin the process of naming the animal, a project that will not be taken lightly.

"You've got to see the personality, see how it goes," Cozart said, "before you give it a goofy name or something."

There are unsubstantiated reports that this guy is auditioning for the role: