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Fernando Tatis Jr. Apologizes to Padres for 80-Game Drug Suspension: Fans Irate


A glum Fernando Tatis Jr. in the dugout during a 2021 road game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

Major League Baseball suspended Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games Friday for violating Major League Baseball’s joint drug agreement, sparking dismay and disgust among fans. And much derision.

Said one on Twitter: “Tatis better come back and win MVP next season.”

A fan suggested trading “moron” Tatis.

Another said hold on about letting Tatis go: “Preller and Padres fans have every right to be upset at Tatis. But voiding his contract would not be in theirs own interests. The talent is worth continuing efforts to get him to mature and make better decisions.”

A statement from the Padres read: “We were surprised and extremely disappointed to learn today that Fernando Tatis Jr. tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Prevention and Treatment Program and subsequently received an 80-game suspension without pay.”

The team added that “we fully support the program and are hopeful that Fernando will learn from this experience.”

Tatis, 23, tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Clostebol, coming just days after he played four games in Double-A ball on rehab assignment. Though he has missed all of the 2022 season thus far, he had been set to rejoin the Padres soon, as manager Bob Melvin had estimated a mid-August timeframe for Tatis to play.

Tatis, a 2021 All-Star, signed a 14-year, $340 million contract extension with the Padres last year.

Tatis, in a statement issued by the MLB Players Association, said he was “completely devastated” by the suspension. He called his use of the PED a mistake — he explained that he inadvertently used a drug for ringworm that contained Clostebol. He also said he has passed all his other drug tests during his short career.

He added that he had opted to appeal the suspension, but wanted to own up to his mistake. He said he should have “used the resources available to me” to determine if the drug he planned to use had any banned substances in it.

“I have no excuse for my error and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game that I love,” he said, while apologizing to team owner Peter Seidler, executive A.J. Preller, the Padres organization, his teammates and fans.

He missed the first half of this season with a fractured wrist stemming from a motorcycle accident in the offseason. The suspension will run through the rest of the 2022 season – there are about 40 games remaining in the regular season, then the postseason – and into next year.

The infielder has established himself in just three years in the league as a charismatic talent, but he has missed numerous games due to injuries, including to his back and shoulder. He has hit .292 in his career, with 81 home runs and 195 RBIs.

Reaction from fans varied from mocking to mournful.

— From staff and wire reports


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