Not so long ago the brightest star in baseball, Fernando Tatis Jr. has turned out to be a fool who thinks everyone else is just as big a fool. Tatis was busted by MLB on Friday for taking an anabolic steroid, and reacted by issuing a statement that would only fly if the country had 100 percent illiteracy or everyone’s internet were permanently down.
Tatis said he “inadvertently” took the performance-enhancing drug Clostebol to treat ringworm, and apparently either he, his agent or his marketing guy thought the world would mistake Clostebol, the synthetic anabolic steroid he was caught with, for Clobetasol, an over-the-counter drug used to treat skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. Clostebol is never prescribed for skin defects or ringworm.
In effect, Tatis was busted again. You don’t have to be an internet sleuth to disprove his unbelievable story. Tatis needs to employ better liars, but more than that, he needs to clean up his own act. The first half of his season was wiped out in a fit of foolishness. This is much worse.
Tatis’ 80-game PED suspension, announced Friday, stings all of baseball, but it really hurts the exciting Padres, who have energized their sleepy but beautiful burg. Padres general manager A.J. Preller texted: “We have a good team. [We] will rally from this.”
Perhaps they will, but as of today they may have somewhat less faith in Tatis’s $341 million contract.
Tatis did say one believable thing in his statement, proclaiming he was “completely devastated” by his transgression, which we assume is true. Because he is now forever known as just another cheat among the long pantheon of cheats who have populated the game. A select few cheats show some real remorse or a hint of honesty. To this point Tatis is not one of those.
Preller, speaking about Tatis to Padres writers, said: “I think what we need to get to is a point in time where we trust. … Over the course of the last six or seven months I think that’s been something that we haven’t really been able to have.’’
The Padres issued a statement saying they are “hopeful Fernando will learn from this experience.” In their statement, ringworm was not mentioned.
On the field Tatis is a prodigy. Off it, he needs help.
The biggest question now is: How long has this been going on? More to the point, do we think it’s conceivable he just decided to enhance his performance via drugs while on the injured list and well after he’d already signed his $341 million deal? Or did he win his record deal partly via medicinal means?
Tatis had some amazing achievements leading up to his record contract. And now we all have to wonder about it, and them.
What’s no mystery is the disaster that is his 2022 season, which began with a wrist injury apparently suffered joyriding on a motorbike. That injury, which he neglected to tell the team about until he showed up at spring training, wiped out 70 percent of the season. The incredible thing about that was when he was asked whether the cycling accident caused the wrist injury, he answered, “Which one?” The implication was clear. He exercised so little caution he had had multiple motorcycle accidents.
Sadly, as it turns out, carelessness appears to be the least of his weaknesses.