May 16, 2018 11:29 am

Rick Zamperin: Should we forgive Joey Votto for bad-mouthing Canada?

Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto (19) runs home to score after stealing third against Chicago Cubs third baseman Tommy La Stella, left, in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 30, 2017, in Cincinnati.

AP Photo/John Minchillo

As the Justin Bieber hit song goes, “Is it too late now to say sorry?”

In the case of Cincinnati Reds superstar Joey Votto, I would have loved to hear the reception Blue Jays fans would have given him if the Reds played an interleague game at the dome this year.

Unfortunately, the two teams won’t face each other this season and you can forget about envisioning a Jays-Reds World Series with Toronto hovering around .500 and Cinci languishing in last place in the NL Central.

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READ MORE: Toronto native Joey Votto apologizes for bad-mouthing Canadian baseball

Votto, a Toronto native who won the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s athlete of the year in 2010 and 2017, has apologized and has asked for forgiveness after saying in a podcast on Tuesday that he doesn’t care about Canada, Canadian baseball or his hometown.

His shocking comments were made in an interview with Yahoo! Sports Major League Baseball podcast after he was asked about James Paxton becoming the first Canadian in league history to throw a no-hitter on home soil after the Seattle Mariners left-hander no-hit the Blue Jays in Toronto.

READ MORE: Toronto native Joey Votto wins Lou Marsh Trophy

Votto said, “As far as Toronto, and Canadian baseball, and the country of Canada, and (James Paxton) being Canadian, I don’t care at all.”

Realizing that his comments were offside, Votto has written a letter – saying he is “terribly ashamed” of his comments, calling them “ridiculously selfish and short-sighted.”

READ MORE: Reds first baseman Joey Votto wins Tip O’Neill award

He wrote, “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.”

I think Votto should feel ashamed for what he said, he was way over the line.

But I also believe that his apology is sincere and we should accept it and move on.

He’s already given us an example of how resentment is unhealthy and unproductive.

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