Joey Votto: “Man, I think I’m a bad mother [expletive]-er.”

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First baseman Joey Votto was a big contributor to the Reds’ 5-4 victory on Friday night against the Cardinals, hitting two two-run home runs. He’s 7-for-17 with three home runs and eight RBI to begin the season, a very good sign for the Reds after Votto posted the worst numbers of his career in the first half of the 2014 season before landing on the disabled list with a distal quad strain.

Votto was realistic about his hot start when speaking to the media after the game. Per C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Votto said, “It’s early in the season. Things will level off at some point.” Rosecrans added that Votto made a joke, labeling himself “something we can’t print.”

We can print most of it, at least. Votto said:

“Man, I think I’m a bad mother [expletive]-er. Are you crazy? Come on now.”

Votto put his serious cap back on and continued. “I didn’t have a great spring,” he said. “But I felt good. I thought physically I was in good place, which is what I usually point to for long-term success in the season. Again, it’s really early in the season. I’m just trying to play every day, every pitch and compete and try to keep up with my teammates.”

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”