In typical Canadian fashion, Joey Votto is apologizing.
The Cincinnati Reds first baseman and Toronto-born All-Star came under fire Tuesday for his comments during a Yahoo Sports podcast in which he said "I don't care almost at all about Canadian baseball." He also said he "really couldn't give a rat's ass about" Seattle Mariners left-hander and fellow Canadian James Paxton throwing a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre earlier in May.
"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," Votto wrote in an email to the Canadian Baseball Network on Tuesday night. "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 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."
Votto, a five-time All-Star, is one of the most decorated Canadian baseball players of all time. He's won seven Tip O'Neill Awards (handed out annually to the best Canadian baseball player) and was named the 2010 National League MVP.
He represented Canada at the World Baseball Classic in 2009 and 2013 but declined the invitation to play in 2017, instead electing to use major-league spring training to work on some aspects of his game that he believed were lacking the previous season.