Ahh, today seems like as good a day as ever to check in on one of Canada’s Beloved Baseball Sons to see how he’s doing out there in good ol’ Cincinnati.
(Opens Twitter with giddy anticipation)
No. No. Dear God, No!
Canadians, with textbook inferiority complex firmly in hand, had their collective hearts apparently ripped from their collective chest-cavities on Tuesday after Votto revealed, quite aggressively, how few shits he gives about baseball in his home country.
He presented his salty view during an appearance on Yahoo! Sports’ Major League Baseball podcast:
I don’t care almost at all about Canadian baseball,” the Reds first baseman stated. “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.
How about his feelings toward fellow Canucks James Paxton’s no-hitter on Canadian soil? Well….
As far as Toronto, and Canadian baseball, and the country of Canada, and [James Paxton] being Canadian, I don’t care at all. [Paxton], or the Jays, or Canada, in general, may disagree with that, but I really couldn’t give a rats ass about that.
Votto later clarified that he was happy for Paxton as ball player — just not as a fellow Canadian.
Still. Come out firing why don’t ya, Joe? That’s some harsh shit, man. After the podcast was released and the reports of Votto’s apparent disdain for Canadian baseball became public, many enraged fans took to Twitter and other trash sites across the interwebs to blast the best player Canada has ever produced — one that suited up in the World Baseball Classic for his home country in both 2009 and 2013 and who has routinely put our nation on a pedestal throughout his time in the majors.
The backlash is certainly understandable after such unexpected and confusing comments from the future Hall of Famer who, just last year, had this to say about his duty as a role model and his love and appreciation for his homeland:
This is a quote from Joey Votto last season when the Reds were in Toronto and he received yet another Tip O'Neill Award. Not exactly anti-Canadian. pic.twitter.com/kUMyDhnJ1k
— Israel Fehr (@israelfehr) May 16, 2018
Immediately following the aftermath of Tuesday’s comments, Votto scrambled to do damage control — sending a public apology via email to The Canadian Baseball Network lamenting his comments from Tuesday and expressing regret for offending, well, a shit-tonne of people.
The entire letter can be found here.
“I was asked recently about James Paxton and his no-hitter on Canadian soil. I am not sure how I could have been so ridiculously selfish and short-sighted in my reply.
When asked about baseball in Canada, the Blue Jays and specifically this event, it took me back to the times and my resentment for not making Team Canada in high school, not being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays out of high school, or not being picked for the Olympic team while in the minor leagues.
Clearly my reply came out of a side of jealousy for a Canadian baseball athlete being celebrated in the city of Toronto. It was an odd reply and one I am terribly ashamed of.
I’ve won multiple Lou Marsh awards and several Tip O’Neil awards (seven). Each of them I stage proudly in my house next to my major league baseball awards. I go back to Toronto each off season and feel renewed every time I cross the border to my home and native land,” he wrote.
“I get excited and feel honored every time I interact with the future of Canadian Baseball whether at a Baseball Canada banquet, the World Baseball Classic, or Pro Teach Baseball indoor facility in Etobicoke.
As I write this I am saddened that I was so flagrant with my remarks and more importantly that I offended so many people that mean so much to me.
I would not be where I am now without the efforts of so many Canadian baseball people and the fans of Canadian baseball.
To James Paxton, the Blue Jays, the Toronto fans, the women and men all across Canada that work so hard to promote and support Canadian baseball, I am sorry for my selfish comments and I humbly ask for your forgiveness.”
Alright, man. That’s about as legit as apologies come these days. As he admitted, he let his words get away from him with his comments towards Canadian Baseball out of jealousy and frustration. Spending too many hours in Ohio over a long period of time will do something to your mental state, so we’ll give him that, too.
Less than 24 hours after it all went down, it’s time to stuff this shit into the back of our minds and forget about it for a while. Votto’s is just a good Canadian boy who is clearly at a boiling point as he trudges through another nothing season with the lowly Reds — who he also slandered publicly during the Yahoo! Sports MLB podcast.
Canada can let this one slide, right?