Joey Votto apologizes for ‘selfish’ comments on Canadian baseball

Published On May 16, 2018 | By mikefurtado | Sports

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto  throws to first base on a sacrifice bunt by Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2018. (Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports)

Michael Furtado

Joey Votto apologized Wednesday for negative remarks about Canadian baseball, calling his own comments “selfish.”

The Cincinnati Reds first baseman, who was born and raised in Toronto, is seen by many as the greatest Canadian baseball player the sport has ever seen, which makes his comments even more disappointing for many baseball fans across Canada.

He made an appearance on the Yahoo! Major League Baseball podcast on Tuesday, he was asked about recent accomplishments made by Canadian athletes in major league baseball.

“I don’t care almost at all about Canadian baseball,” Votto said. “I wasn’t raised inside of Canadian baseball really. I’m coming up on half of my life being in the United States working and being supported by American baseball.”

This immediately sparked backlash on Twitter from baseball fans across the country.

Matt Richard, who’s worked with the Newmarket Hawks senior team north of Toronto for almost 20 years, says was let down by Votto’s comments.

“It’s disappointing when I think of the growth that Canadian baseball has experienced over the years and the support it has given hundreds and hundreds of kids,” he told Humber News.

Richard said it’s hard to believe someone would discount Canadian baseball, especially someone who was so heavily involved with it.

Although he believes the remarks were harsh, Richard thinks the words may have been taken out of context.

“What I truly think he was trying to say is ‘I don’t care about baseball in Canada because you guys weren’t there for me’,” he said.

Joey Votto of Team Canada is seen during batting practice (Barry Gossage/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

He was referring to Votto’s being passed over as a teenager by Team Canada and not being drafted out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Dan Nicoletta, who has played high level baseball for the Newmarket Hawks and Brock University, shares similar views to that of Richard.

“As a Canadian, where there’s not a lot of Canadian representation in major league baseball, you don’t really want to hear somebody say ‘I don’t give a rat’s ass about baseball in your country’,” he said.

Nicoletta spent the majority of his life in high-level baseball programs in Canada and acknowledged the talent that Canadian programs have produced over the years.

“There are a lot of guys who are playing elite, high-level baseball, who are trying to be like Joey Votto,” he said.

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