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Joey Votto opens up about Reds' struggles: 'This is the worst start I've ever seen'

Some things have changed for Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds since the perennial MVP candidate sat down last week for a frank conversation with the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast about his team’s early-season struggles.

It’s been good change too. They’d won two games in a row before the interview, then won four more — sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers and bringing their season-high winning streak to six games. It was snapped Monday night with a loss to the Giants, but not before the Reds managed to nearly double their win total.

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They’re 14-28 now, but even with six straight Ws, they’re tied for the third-fewest wins in MLB, which is one of the reasons Votto was so frustrated and disappointed when he talked to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown on the latest Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast. If you’re not already a subscriber to our recently launched weekly podcast, click the graphic below and sign up on Apple Podcasts. If you’d prefer Stitcher, click here.

Among the things Votto said in the interview, which starts around the 50-minute mark:

“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. 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.”

And later:

“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. 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.”

It’s a part of a wide-ranging conversation in which Votto — known as one of MLB’s most honest and least cliché players — talks about everything from learning Spanish and trolling opposing fans to the unwritten rules and which players he likes to watch hit.

It’s a great listen and part of a podcast that also breaks down the prospect of gambling in baseball, along with the Dodgers’ struggles and more from the week that was in MLB. Once again, you can find the show on Apple PodcastsStitcherAcast and where ever else you find podcasts. If you dig what we’re doing, we’d appreciate your ratings and reviews to help the show grow. 

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Mike Oz is a writer at Yahoo Sports. Contact him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Joining the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast, Cincinnati infielder Joey Votto explains his disappointment with the state of the Reds. Subscribe to the Yahoo Sports MLB Podcast on Apple Podcasts

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