Tatis apologizes to Padres and fans: ‘There are no excuses’

SAN DIEGO — Fernando Tatis Jr. spoke to reporters Tuesday afternoon, sounding contrite as he spoke publicly for the first time since being suspended for testing positive for a banned substance.

“I would like to start today just by saying how very sorry I am,” Tatis said, speaking from the Petco Park dugout. “I’m so sorry. I let so many people down.”

Tatis, who was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Clostebol, has spent the past few days apologizing to members of the organization, and he apologized to his teammates on Tuesday.

“I know I have a lot of love to recover and I have a lot of work to do,” he said. “It’s going to be a very long process to gain everyone’s trust.”

Tatis said he took Clostebol as part of a drug to treat a skin infection from June, without consulting team doctors. He said he continued to use the drug until he tested positive in late July. Tatis considered an appeal for a few weeks, but said when it became clear he was unlikely to win that appeal, he accepted the suspension, which was officially handed down on August 13.

“At the end of the day, there’s no excuse,” Tatis said. “I have to do a much better job of what’s going on in my body. There’s no excuse for these actions. … It was a stupid mistake. It was me who was reckless.”

Additionally, Tatis noted that he will undergo surgery to fix the shoulder problem that led to multiple subluxations last season. The team had hoped that Tatis would have the surgery last offseason, but then he opted against it. This operation will take place “as soon as possible”, Tatis said, and he expects to be ready to play when his suspension ends next April/May.

In the meantime, Tatis says he will stay with the team, although he will be banned from the stadium during games. He met his teammates on Tuesday at a players-only meeting, marking the first time he had done so since the suspension. Based on the accounts of those involved, Tatis was sincere in his apology, which was widely accepted within the Padres clubhouse.

“We’ve all made stupid mistakes that we regret,” Manny Machado said. “But we just have to move past that and learn from it and hold you accountable. Today he came here and spoke to the group, said what he needed to say. At the end of the day, we’re all family here.”

Right-hander Joe Musgrove said: “It’s not an easy conversation to have. For him to come and face the team, face to face, and be honest with us and let us know what happened, that’s what everyone wanted.”

The night Tatis’ suspension was announced, several of his teammates reacted strongly to the news. Tatis said he understood every word of it.

While the Padres are fighting for their lives in the playoffs, Tatis hasn’t played a game this season. He was involved in a motorcycle accident in December which was likely the cause of his left wrist fracture. This injury kept Tatis out of action for the first four months of the season. His suspension will now keep him out for the remainder of this season and the playoffs as well as 32 games in 2023. All games played by the Padres in the 2022 playoffs will count towards the suspension, which would reduce the number of matches he will have to play. sit down next year.

“I just let them know…that this was going to change, that I was going to take better steps forward, that I was going to make sure this never happened again,” Tatis said.

Of course, regaining trust inside the Padres clubhouse is one thing. Finding trust outside of it is another. Once presumed to be the future face of baseball, Tatis’ reputation has been tarnished by his recent suspension.

When on the court, Tatis has been one of the most exciting players in the sport, with two top-five MVP finishes, two All-MLB First Team selections and a career .292/.369/ .596 slant line with 81 homers in his first 273 career games. With a PED suspension to his name, what would Tatis say to people who question the validity of those numbers?

“It has nothing to do with it, but at the same time I gave those reasons to think that way,” Tatis said. “It’s up to me now to start looking to the future and, as I mentioned before, to start making those changes.”

Tatis’ apology extended beyond her positive test. He expressed remorse for the motorcycle accident, saying he wished “in the first place, I wouldn’t have ridden the motorcycle”.

“Any relationship worth having, there will be great times, and there will be tough times,” Padres president of baseball operations AJ Preller said. “I talked a lot about mistakes with Fernando. We all make mistakes. I’ve made a lot of mistakes here as general manager of this team because I’m sure the Padres fans will let me know from from time to time.

“But the key is how you learn from those mistakes. How you grow from those mistakes.”

On Tuesday, Tatis decided to do just that.

“I know there’s been a lot of talk out there, but it’s with actions,” Tatis said. “Equities are going to speak for me going forward. There’s going to be a whole new story there, and there’s going to be changes there. It starts today.”

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