Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. offers emotional apology after PED suspension, will undergo shoulder surgery: ‘I have failed’

It’s been a humiliating week for Star Padre’s shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr, who issued a lengthy apology in the Padres’ dugout ahead of San Diego’s fight with the Cleveland Guardians.

Tatis, who was banned for 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance and then tried to explain the positive test with ringworm and a haircut, sat surrounded by reporters and seemingly apologized to everyone for the indiscretion that the Padres’ full season will cost their $340 million star.

“It’s my own fault. I made a mistake,” Tatis said in his statement.

I’m really sorry. I’ve failed so many people. I’ve lost so much love from people. I have failed. I will remember how that feels and I will never put myself in that position again. I know I have a lot of love that I need to reclaim. I have a lot to do, it’s going to be a very long process. I am learning, I am maturing.

Maturity has been the thorny issue for Tatis and the Padres of late as the suspension came on their heels in what appeared to be the final stages of recovery from a motorcycle accident that broke his wrist in the off-season.

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At just 23, Tatis became an incendiary and ambassador for the game of baseball during the first three years of his career, hitting a .282/.364/.611 slashline and 42 home runs in 2021 after netting $340 million on a 14-year contract. For their part, the Padres are in the midst of a serious World Series push after being traded at close for Juan Soto to pair him with Manny Machado, who is having an MVP-caliber season.

While Tatis was expected to be a big part of the Big 3, for now the Dynamic duo will have to make do instead.

I failed the front office, the San Diego Padres. [owner] peter seidler, [GM] AJ Preller. I failed… this city. I failed my country. I disappointed my family. Parents. I’m really sorry for mistakes.

This is the most public apology Tatis has made, with the weekend being spent apologizing to the team. Following criticism from some of his teammates, including Mike Clevinger and Wil Myers, Tatis met with Preller over the weekend, and there was a players-only meeting where Tatis addressed his teammates.

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When asked if it was helpful, first-year manager Bob Melvin said: per 97.3 The fan: “Very. So I spoke to him after he spoke to the team. He didn’t have to come in, but he came. And I think – his expression was – I think he was very relieved. The hardest part was talking to his teammates… I thought it was going really well. He was open, he was honest. And now it’s time to move forward.

The Padres are very busy. Since joining the club, Soto and Josh Bell have gone 8-10 (with the caveat of a five-game losing streak that began the second game they were in the lineup). Despite having one of the best rosters in baseball on paper, they must prove they can match the MLB-best Dodgers, who trail 17.5 games on Tuesday.

They have to do this without Tatis, who won’t see the field until next season. Despite the initial bumps immediately following his suspension, the Padres appear hopeful there will soon be water under the bridge. And while Tatis will no doubt face some taunts from fans on his return next year, the organization seem optimistic he will learn something from the process.

“It’s nice to graduate,” Melvin said.

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