San Diego Padres Fernando Tatis Jr. addressed the media on Tuesday for the first time since his 80-game suspension. The shortstop was suspended by MLB after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug earlier this month, and will miss the rest of this season and the postseason.
Tatis Jr. apologized for his mistakes and took responsibility for his actions, saying that his dreams have turned into his worst nightmares: “There’s no other one to blame than myself. I haven’t made the right decisions in these past two weeks, month, even the start of the year. I made a mistake and I regret every single step I have taken … I’m truly sorry. I have let so many people down. I have lost so much love from people. I have failed. 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.”
The 23-year-old Tatis is in the second year of his record 14-year, $340 million contract extension. Prior to his suspension, he 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. Tatis tested positive for Clostebol, which is on the league’s banned substances list. When news of the suspension broke, Tatis said that he had accidentally taken the substance to treat ringworm. On Tuesday, he clarified that statement, saying that the substance that he took was meant to treat a skin condition that he had been dealing with for an extended time.
Tatis also said that he will undergo left shoulder surgery during his suspension. Shoulder problems had sent Tatis to the injured list three separate times in 2021 and limited him to 130 games. He will miss the final 48 games this year and the first 32 games next year while serving the suspension, giving him roughly nine months to recover from surgery before he’s eligible to play again.
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