Joey Votto will tell you what he’s thinking. At the moment, it’s nothing good if you’re the Cincinnati Reds.
The longtime Reds first baseman joined host Tim Brown on the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast last week to discuss, among other things, the Reds’ brutal start to 2018: Cincinnati was 10-27 when the podcast was recorded and currently owns baseball’s third-worst record at 14-28.
Votto made it very clear: He’s not happy.
“I genuinely hope that we’re trending in the right direction, but this is the worst start I’ve ever seen,” Votto told Brown. “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. It hasn’t been a fun time to be a Cincinnati Reds fan.”
The 34-year-old seemed to know he’d take flak for his comments, but cited his nearly two decades with the Reds organization as a license to speak his mind.
“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,” Votto said. “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.”
Votto, who hasn’t won a playoff series in his 12 seasons with Cincinnati, added he’s still not ready to give up hope — yet.
“I would get worried if collectively, we all didn’t take a really good hard long look in the mirror — and also if some people weren’t allowed to look in that mirror anymore,” he said.
Votto is under contract until at least 2023, but his name has popped up in trade rumors before. Is this the season he and the Reds finally part ways, or will the five-time All-Star remain with the only big-league team he’s ever known — albeit one of the worst teams in baseball?
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