SAN FRANCISCO — The comments Joey Votto made on a podcast over the weekend were out of frustration, he said. He added that he’s happy as a Red, and he in no way wants out.
“I’m proud to wear a Reds uniform, and I look forward to doing that until the last day of my Major League Baseball career,” Votto said.
Votto told Yahoo Sports: “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. There are so many people that are losing interest in our organization – and deservedly so.”
Votto didn’t back off that so much as explain why he said it. The Reds were 10-27 at the time.
“I never want to be apologetic for anything I say,” he said Tuesday. “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.
“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, probably, I went a little too far with some of the things I said just out of frustration.”
“Ultimately, I do feel we’re headed in the right direction. I think that winning baseball is coming around the bend,” Votto said. “At the time, whatever our record was, one of the poorer performers … I was frustrated. I expect good things for this franchise.
“I made it personal when it probably shouldn’t have been. But, again, I can’t help it. I think people do things and say things emotionally when they make it personal. I’m going to do my best going forward to stick to playing ball and doing my job, do my part and make sure the things I say going forward are productive and help us move in the right direction.”
Votto, 34, is signed through the 2023 season. He has a full no-trade clause.
He did not hear from anyone from the front office.
“No, 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.”