Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Fernando Tatis Jr. apologizes and accepts blame for PED ban, adds he’ll get shoulder surgery during suspension

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At 68-56, the San Diego Padres hold a narrow lead for the third and final National League wild-card spot, and they’ll have to make their postseason push without star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis was suspended 80 games by MLB after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug earlier this month. He will miss the rest of this season and the postseason.

Tatis spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since his suspension and apologized to Padres fans, baseball fans, and his family. “There is no one else to blame but myself. I made a mistake,” he said. 

“I’m truly sorry. I have let so many people down. I have lost so much love from people. I have failed,” Tatis continued. “I’m going to remember what this feels like, and I’m not going to put myself in this position ever again. I know I have a lot of love that I have to recover. I have a lot of work to do, it will be a very long process. I’m learning, I’m maturing.”

Even prior to the suspension, Tatis had not played this season because of a wrist injury suffered in an offseason motorcycle accident. He was on a minor-league rehab assignment and nearing a return at the time of the suspension. Padres GM AJ Preller said they “need to get to is a point in time where we trust” Tatis and his judgment earlier this month.

Tatis also revealed Tuesday he will have surgery on his troublesome left shoulder while serving his suspension, and will spend the majority of his recovery time in San Diego. Shoulder problems sent him to the injured list three separate times in 2021 and limited him to 130 games. Tatis declined to have surgery last offseason

The exact nature of the shoulder surgery and the recovery time are unknown at the moment. Tatis will miss the final 48 games this year and the first 32 games next year while serving the suspension, meaning he will have roughly nine months to recover from surgery before he’s eligible to play again.

Still only 23, Tatis authored a 282/.364/.611 batting line with an NL-leading 42 home runs a year ago, and finished third in the MVP voting. He is in the second year of his record 14-year, $340 million contract extension.

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