Fernando Tatis Jr. apologizes after PED ban


Eleven days after he accepted his 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, Fernando Tatis Jr. spoke up. He spoke to his San Diego Padres teammates. He spoke to reporters.

He hadn’t done any of these things since the news that he had tested positive for a banned substance stunned the sport a week and a half ago – unless you counted on his widely ridiculed statement blaming the treatment ringworm for introducing Clostebol into his system.

Padres general manager AJ Preller had talked about it. He was dissapointed. Tatis’ teammates had been questioned about it. They were also disappointed. Even his father, former big leaguer Fernando Tatis Sr., gave an interview in which he blamed a haircut for giving his son a fungal infection that led to the positive test and railed against MLB for what he said was “destroying a player’s image for some something as minor as that.”

But it wasn’t until Tuesday that Tatis, in street clothes because he’s unable to train with the team while suspended, slips past a circle of cameras and microphones in waiting to answer for itself.

“I’m so sorry. I let so many people down,” Tatis said on Tuesday. “I lost so much love from people. I failed. I failed the front office, the San Diego Padres, [chairman] Peter Seidler, AJ Preller. I disappointed all the fans in town. I failed… my country.

“I let down my family, my parents. I’m so sorry for my mistakes. I saw how my dreams turned into my worst nightmares in a few days, a few months. But there is no one around. someone else to blame than myself.

Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. suspended 80 games for violating MLB’s PED policy

Since Tatis burst onto the scene and became one of the hottest young stars in the sport, he’s fallen into ignominious company. When a shoulder injury threatened his 2021 season, he opted against surgery to last the rest of the season, but was never the same. When he showed up for spring training after the MLB lockout in March, he did so with a broken wrist suffered in one of those Tatis said there were several off-season motorcycle accidents — something he hadn’t been able to tell the team about under lockdown rules and cost him the first four months of this season.

“I haven’t made the right decisions in the past week, month. Even from the beginning of the year. I made a mistake and I regret every step I took these days “said Tatis, according to ESPN and other outlets present. “There is a long way to go.”

Tatis has never been able to hide his feelings as well as some of his colleagues, so much so that when he and the Padres collapsed while battling a shoulder injury in 2021, his dour demeanor led to questions about morale — his own and that of his clubhouse. The team changed managers during the offseason in hopes that veteran Bob Melvin could help a roster of stars become a winner with Tatis at the heart of it. But while Tatis has at times appeared flippant in his approach to his profession, his body language suggests he’s been shaken by what’s happened this month.

“I’ll remember how it feels. And I’m going to make sure I’m never in that position again,” Tatis said. “I know I have a lot of love to recover. I have a lot of work to do. It will be a very long process to win back everyone’s trust, to win back the love that I stabbed in the heart of every baseball fan.

Perhaps, given that his career path has now been drastically altered, given that his 2022 season is over, expect to be shaken. But time won’t be entirely wasted: Preller and Tatis have confirmed he will undergo surgery on that wayward shoulder he’s stuck together for about a year now and will spend much of his off-season rehabilitation at San Diego. Tatis’ suspension will end in May.

“I’m going to do everything in my power, everything in my strength, everything I can do on the pitch, off the pitch to be a better teammate. The distraction that I have been is just something unacceptable, something that I have no excuse for, something that needs to be redeemed right now,” Tatis said. “I know there’s been a lot of talk out there, but it’s with actions. These are actions that I will start doing and actions that will speak for me in the future.

Starting pitcher Joe Musgrove told reporters in San Diegoincluding 97.3 FM, which Tatis showed “remorse” and clarified what happened at a players-only meeting on Tuesday, and Musgrove said the young star received “tough love”.

“But people make mistakes, man. It’s something we’re definitely not going to keep over his head for the rest of his career,” Musgrove said. “I know there are fans who will and people will feel what they want to feel, but something I told him is that the most important people are the people in this room. .”

Luckily for the Padres, one of the people in that room is 23-year-old Juan Soto. star the team traded for before they knew Tatis would be out for the rest of the season. Even with Soto, the Padres cling to a playoff spot, not cruise. They were scheduled to enter the field Tuesday night a game and a half ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for last berth in National League playoffs.

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