The baseball earth was rocked Friday afternoon, when it was acquired that 1 of the game’s brightest youthful stars, Fernando Tatis Jr., had tested favourable for a overall performance-improving substance and was strike by Key League Baseball with an 80-sport suspension.
Tatis, the 23-12 months-aged superstar shortstop who experienced now emerged as 1 of the faces of the activity, was only days absent from coming again from the wrist damage that experienced kept him out all year. His San Diego Padres, on the heels of a blockbuster trade for Juan Soto, were eagerly awaiting his return though in pursuit of a title. Now Tatis’ year is in excess of, and the Padres’ championship hopes have been considerably diminished.
But there is so significantly additional to this.
Here are a few of the most urgent questions concerning Tatis, the Padres and MLB.
What does this signify for Tatis?
We’ll get to the large-photograph factors later on, but initial the basic principles: Tatis’ 80-match suspension starts Friday and will very last as a result of the remaining 48 standard-period games. How prolonged it extends into 2023 will hinge on how deep the Padres engage in into the postseason, if they get there (they entered participate in Friday with a just one-activity direct on the sixth and ultimate playoff spot in the Countrywide League). Tatis also isn’t anticipated to be eligible to represent the Dominican Republic in subsequent year’s Earth Baseball Basic.
Tatis is a single of the most charming stars in the activity, but around the program of his first four seasons he will have played in only 273 of a feasible 546 common-time games. He missed the last seven weeks of the 2019 year because of a pressure response in his lower back, spent all of 2021 dealing with a balky still left shoulder and will finally skip the entirety of 2022 for elements that had been seemingly properly in just his regulate: a wrist harm that possible occurred through an offseason motorbike incident, and now a positive drug examination.
Tatis, who could get rid of shut to $3 million in salary with the suspension, issued a 198-term statement in which he stated he “inadvertently took a medicine to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol.”
Tatis later included that he is “absolutely devastated,” composing: “There is nowhere else in the entire world I would alternatively be than on the field competing with my teammates. After in the beginning captivating the suspension, I have realized that my slip-up was the bring about of this end result, and for that explanation I have determined to start out serving my suspension right away. I appear ahead to rejoining my teammates on the subject in 2023.”
What does this signify for the Padres?
It won’t get any extra deflating than this. Go back just 10 days in the past, when admirers lined up outdoors the gates at Petco Park, clamoring to get into the stadium for a midweek sport against the floundering Colorado Rockies. It was for the reason that the team had just traded for Soto, certainly, but it was even larger than that it was a palpable exhilaration not just due to the fact of what the Padres were being at the minute, but of what they would be pretty shortly.
The Padres stripped their farm process bare though in pursuit of Soto, and other people, because they noticed an possibility to go for it, a perception rooted mainly in what the staff completed with no Tatis. With him back in the lineup, they observed a legitimate championship contender. And with the additions of Soto and Josh Bell and Brandon Drury and Josh Hader, they noticed a staff that could compete with the Yankees and Dodgers and Mets and Astros and any of the behemoths in the activity.
The Padres will continue to be great, of program. They are still viewed as very likely to make the playoffs, with Ha-seong Kim continuing to present stellar protection at shortstop and Trent Grisham continuing to be a mainstay in middle industry. But it will not likely be the same. This is a important skipped chance, and this is not a franchise that can take in many of these.
Underneath the course of chairman Peter Seidler, the Padres have taken a major leap of faith, investing intensely in the key league roster with the hope that the community fans — in just a city that not long ago missing its NFL group — would rally around them. Tatis in several strategies embodied that method. They rewarded him with a huge 14-yr, $340 million extension in February 2021, billing it as a “statue agreement.” And they fundamentally assembled a star-laden roster close to him. Tatis has not lived up to his close of it mostly mainly because he hasn’t acted responsibly, as evidenced by the two good reasons he’ll skip all of 2022.
The Padres’ assertion was noticeably curt and in no way supportive, ending with the pursuing line: “We thoroughly assistance the Plan and are hopeful that Fernando will master from this knowledge.” Afterwards, Padres typical supervisor A.J. Preller alluded to trust problems although talking to reporters in Washington, D.C.
What does this necessarily mean for MLB?
It truly is a black mark for the sport any time 1 of its star players will get busted for alleged dishonest (an element of this that Tatis denies). Tatis’ suspension is up there with prior types for Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Miguel Tejada, Manny Ramirez and Ryan Braun. He’s that major a star, he suggests that much to the sport.
Tatis embodies the kind of athlete Important League Baseball would like to marketplace — bilingual, fantastic-looking, charismatic, flashy, supremely gifted. Now Tatis need to stay with the stigma of this for the rest of his career, the extent of which is not possible to figure out at the moment. His image may hardly ever entirely recover.
What does this drug do?
Clostebol is a testosterone-boosting anabolic steroid that is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and has been on MLB’s banned list considering the fact that it commenced testing for steroids in 2003. Clostebol was 1 of the substances Dee Gordon examined optimistic for in 2016, on the heels of a batting title. Freddy Galvis also analyzed positive for it in 2012.
Tatis, nevertheless, is a a great deal even larger star, standing as the only player in key league history with 80 household runs and 50 stolen bases inside the very first 300 game titles of his profession. He is now the 3rd player in the growth period (due to the fact 1961) to end inside of the top three in MVP voting and then miss out on the total next year, in accordance to ESPN Stats & Data research. The some others were being Moises Alou, who skipped the 1999 time due to the fact of a torn ACL, and Sandy Koufax, who retired following profitable a Cy Young in 1966.