Fernando Tatis Jr. loves being Major League Baseball’s newest villain.
The San Diego Padres outfielder missed the entire 2022 season after sustaining an injury from a fall from a motorcycle, but just when he was due to return, he was suspended 80 games for performance-enhancing drugs.
Tatis returned earlier this year, but for the rest of his career he will be mocked. It was certainly no different in the Bronx on Friday night.
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In the New York Padres’ game against the Yankees, right fielder Bleacher Creatures hit Tatis with the long “steroids” taunt.
Most players would ignore him and probably hate him – but Fernando Tatis Jr. isn’t most players.
The star outfielder seemed to love every second of it and acted as a conductor for the teasing.
Oh, and Tatis wasn’t done there — he hit a moonshot into the upper deck, did an epic bat flip, and hit an imaginary jump shot around third base on the San Diego’s 5-1 win over the Bronx.
This isn’t the first time Tatis has entertained the taunts. When the Chicago Cubs hit him with a “He’s on steroids” chant, he actually danced to it.
Tatis said he “inadvertently” took a drug containing Clostebola banned substance while treating a case of ringworm.
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“I should have used the resources I had to make sure no banned substances were in what I took. I didn’t,” he said in a statement.
Tatis said he initially appealed the suspension, but “I realized that my mistake was the cause of this result, and for that reason, I decided to start serving my suspension immediately.
“I have no excuse for my mistake, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game that I love,” he added.
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Tatis signed a 13-year, $340 million deal ahead of the 2021 season which was the third-highest-grossing trade in MLB history at the time. Francisco Lindor topped him by $1 million before the start of this season, and Aaron Judge’s nine-year, $360 million deal this offseason also beat Tatis’ numbers, and teammate Manny Machado signed a $350 million extension before opening day.
Despite their wild signings, the Padres are only 24-27 and fourth in the NL West.