Joey Votto admits he went ‘too far’ with negative comments about Reds
The Cincinnati Reds have been one of the worst teams in baseball since they last made the playoffs in 2013, and Joey Votto has every right to be frustrated. However, the five-time All-Star wishes he wasn’t so candid in expressing that frustration last week.
Votto was a guest on the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on Friday, and he opened up about the terrible start the Reds have had this season.
“I genuinely hope that we’re trending in the right direction, but this is the worst start I’ve ever seen. If I’m not mistaken, it’s been noted in the past that this was historically one of the worst starts for this franchise,” Votto said. “There are so many people that are losing interest in our organization — and deservedly so. It hasn’t been a fun time to be a Cincinnati Reds fan.”
Votto said he has been with the Reds for so long that he takes their recent struggles personally.
“Not often does a player get to speak the way I’m speaking right now because my role is to do my job on the field and pretty much zip my lips, which makes sense,” he added. “But in the same breath, I’ve been with this franchise for, I think, 17 years now. You can say things are business, but to honest with you, I was a kid when I signed with this franchise, I take it personally. This is a personal thing to me. People inside of the organization in all likelihood are not going to enjoy my responses. But it’s been disappointing.”
After his comments made the rounds on Tuesday, Votto expressed regret over bringing negative attention to the Reds. He stopped short of apologizing, but he admitted he went “a little too far.”
“I never want to be apologetic for anything I say,” Votto said, per Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “But, I think I may have been a bit overzealous with some of the things I said because I feel at the time we weren’t playing very well, and I was frustrated. Ultimately, I want what’s very best for the organization — everyone throughout.
“I miss the days of playing really good quality baseball. I don’t know what to say. I’ve been with the franchise for a long time now. More often than not, I bite my tongue. Probably, I went a little too far with some of the things I said, just out of frustration.”
Votto, who was named the National League MVP in 2010, said he was not approached by any members of the Reds’ front office about the interview. But if he was confronted, he said he would probably admit he made a mistake.
“But most importantly, I knew I overstepped my bounds,” he said. “I think that’s something that I haven’t done much in my career, so it stood out to me. Even if someone up top said something to me, I think I would have acknowledged and said, ‘Yeah, you’re right. I need to do my job.’ I feel pretty strongly about that.”
Between his insight on the Reds and what he said about baseball in his native land of Canada, Votto stirred up more controversy in one podcast than he has throughout most of his career. Still, you can’t blame him for being tired of losing, and the 14-29 Reds are once again bottom-feeders in the NL Central.