Fernando Tatis Jr. (24, San Diego Padres), who left a big stain on his career due to drug use, belatedly confessed his feelings.
Tatis Jr. revealed his recent situation through an interview with the ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’ on the 28th (hereinafter Korean time). After undergoing shoulder and wrist surgery in September and October of last year, Tatis Jr., who was rehabilitated in the Dominican Republic, moved to San Diego from this month and is preparing for the new season through underwater training with teammate pitcher Joe Musgrove.
“I learn how to breathe and the peace that water brings. He likes the silence when he is in the water,” he said, expressing his feelings ahead of his return, “Whatever awaits me, I think there will be difficult situations this year.”
Tatis Jr., who was suspended for 80 games in August of last year after testing positive for clostebol, a substance that enhances performance, and was out for the season, can return from the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 21 after the opening 20 games of this season. I am worried about the absence of practice for more than a year until the shoulder injury earlier, but I have to overcome the stinging gaze and public opinion to look at Tatis Jr., who is stained with drugs.
The San Diego Union-Tribune said, ‘Tatis Jr. is preparing mentally as well. He is ready to be booed and ridiculed,’ he said. “I’ve been watching baseball on and off the field all my life,” Tatis Jr. said. I know what people are talking about and what they are going to talk about. It’s up to me how to approach and accept it. The answer is out there. I have to play baseball anyway, and I go back to the field. I cannot be loved everywhere, but I will expect booing and applause.”
Tatis Jr., who is from the Dominican Republic and made his debut in 2019 at the age of 20, has established himself as the main shortstop by hitting 22 homers since his first year. During the shortened 2020 season, he led the team to the postseason and finished fourth in MVP voting, before signing a 14-year, $340 million super-long extension before the 2021 season. As if in return for this, in 2021, he made a big success with a batting average of 2.8%, 42 homers, 97 RBIs, and an OPS of .975 in 130 games, proving his value by ranking first in home runs in the National League and third in MVP voting. He emerged as a major league representative icon in three years, but he was hampered by injury, and then his fame fell to the floor due to a banned substance.
In October of last year, when San Diego advanced to the championship series and exploded champagne, Tatis Jr. sat at home and watched. He said, “The fact that I was not in the playoffs brought me depression. He couldn’t do anything, and it felt like his heart was stabbed that he wasn’t part of the team. I will not forget that feeling and will never do that again.” Looking at the faces of my colleagues, I could see how heartbroken they were.” He also said, “If I had been on the field, the story could have been different. It was the first time I was separated from my colleagues, and it hurt so much. In the meantime, I have always been successful, but I failed for the first time.”
Although his career suffered a major blemish, Tatis Jr. is using it as an opportunity to look back and reflect on himself. “Tatis has to face something he’s never done before,” Musgrove said. He’s in a tough situation, but he’s taking it well. He prepared with a work ethic around Petco Park every day,” he said. “Being the face of baseball as a superstar is difficult to handle. In the past, Tatis Jr. did not step forward, but now I see him opening his heart a little more.” Before the punishment, he had a strong individualistic tendency, but now he communicates and listens to those around him. 안전놀이터
The condition of the shoulder and wrist, which had been a problem before the drug discipline, was also almost recovered. Tatis Jr. said, “My shoulder is completely healed. The surgery went well, and I feel good. The wrist is also almost completely healed. At the first surgery, it didn’t heal properly, so it was about 25%, but now it’s about 90% recovered. 100% I think I can find my swing. I started batting training this week, and I feel good,” he said. “I think I will be able to feel more emotions this year. Looking forward to getting back to the ballpark. I miss hitting a home run and going around third base,” he said, looking forward to returning to the ground.