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story.lead_photo.caption Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds shared his frustrations with his organization’s recent losing ways.

The Cincinnati Reds have been one of the worst teams in baseball since they last made the playoffs in 2013, and Joey Votto has every right to be frustrated. However, the five-time All-Star wishes he wasn't so candid in expressing that frustration last week.

Votto was a guest on the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on Friday, and he opened up about the terrible start the Reds have had this season.

"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," Votto said. "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."

Votto said he has been with the Reds for so long that he takes their recent struggles personally.

"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," he added. "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 be 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."

After his comments made the rounds Tuesday, Votto expressed regret over bringing negative attention to the Reds. He stopped short of apologizing, but he admitted he went "a little too far."

"I never want to be apologetic for anything I say," Votto said, per Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. "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 -- everyone throughout.

"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, I went a little too far with some of the things I said, just out of frustration."

Ryder Cup prep

Two days after Justin Thomas rose to No. 1 in the world, the European Tour announced he was playing the French Open this year.

The two are not connected.

Thomas has resisted the temptation to chase appearance money even as his stature has grown in the past few years. Since becoming a PGA Tour member, the only overseas event he has played on another tour was the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan at the end of 2016. Three of his eight PGA Tour victories were in Asia.

This is mainly about the Ryder Cup.

The French Open, which runs from June 28 to July 1, is at Le Golf National, the host course for the Ryder Cup in late September.

"I'm excited to see the course and go check it out a little bit," Thomas said. "It's not like a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup in the states where we can just pop over and play when we want. I'm hoping to get some good vibes from it and learn a few things about the course. It is always good to help provide any information that might help our team prepare."

The French Open is the same week as The National, which Thomas has played the past three years.

Sports quiz

Joey Votto has won the Lou Marsh Trophy twice. What is the Lou Marsh Trophy?

Sports answer

The Lou Marsh Trophy is awarded annually to Canada's top athlete, professional or amateur.

Sports on 05/17/2018

Print Headline: Votto vents on sad state of the Reds

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