Ryan Ludwick drew the ire of many Reds fans on Wednesday when he expressed his discontent with the lack of intensity and energy in the stadium during the series against the New York Mets. Now, the 35-year-old has issued a series of comments addressing the matter, which he hopes will help clear the air between him and the fans.
In an interview with legendary sports writer Hal McCoy, Ludwick called the comments a "pep talk," and added that his intention wasn't to criticize or bash fans, but rather it was an attempt to "get them more involved" so the players could "feed" off their energy.
Ludwick was soundly ripped by local talk radio hosts, bloggers, and fans alike over his postgame remarks. And he claims the backlash has taken an emotional toll on him.
“It really hurt. I was very emotional about it."
Ludwick then began explaining how he and his family grew up Reds fans.
“The reason I came here is because this is a place that is dear to my heart,” he added. “My grandpa used to listen to Reds games on the porch in Georgetown.
“They’re saying I’m blaming the fans for our losses, which is not what I’m doing — that never came out of my mouth,” he said. “I’m just looking for intensity. I’m a lifelong Reds fan and I’ve been one since I was 1. This team was always my childhood favorite. I was just trying to get everyone on board.
“I’m trying to get the city to unite, the players to unite, the manager to unite, the coaches to unite,” he said. “Have fun with us — try to win a World Series. Am I saying intensity is going to win us a World Series? No. It was taken all wrong the way I meant it.
“This definitely a place dear to my heart and my grandfather is probably in Georgetown rolling around in his grave. It hurt me a little bit. I was a fan here before I was a player here,” Ludwick added. “I apologize to those who took it wrong. I want a World Series from a players standpoint and a fans standpoint.”
To be honest, I didn't think Ludwick's comments were as inflammatory as many made them out to be in the first place. I think the whole ordeal got blown up due to back-to-back losses and the desire for folks like Lance McCalister to spin this situation in a way that creates more buzz for their program. With that being said, I definitely don't believe Ludwick was wise to say that about the fans. As a player, you are going to lose every time when calling out your own fans.
At this point, it's time for fans to bury the proverbial hatchet and forgive Ludwick for whatever wrongdoing he may have done. After all, both have more important things to worry about over the next handful of days. Namely, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Via FOX Sports Ohio