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Padres' Juan Soto, Manny Machado Weigh In on Fernando Tatis Jr.'s PED Suspension

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 13, 2022

Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

San Diego Padres stars Juan Soto and Manny Machado gave their thoughts Saturday on Fernando Tatis Jr. getting suspended 80 games for a positive performance-enhancing drug test.

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Some Padres weighed in on Fernando Tatis Jr.'s suspension <a href="https://t.co/ebMxbMHmPP">pic.twitter.com/ebMxbMHmPP</a>

Soto, who just joined the team from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline earlier this month, gave a diplomatic response, per Dennis Lin of The Athletic.

The slugger remarked, "It is what it is. We're all humans, and we all make errors. So, we're not perfect." He also stressed that the Padres have to "move forward."

Machado called the suspension a "terrible thing to hear" and a "terrible thing" that he won't be part of the team's playoff push.

Major League Baseball announced the suspension Friday, and Tatis released a statement, noting that the positive test was the result of a substance he unknowingly consumed via ringworm medication:

"It turns out that I inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol. I should have used the resources available to me in order to ensure that no banned substances were in what I took. I failed to do so.

"I want to apologize to [team owner] Peter [Seidler], [general manager] AJ [Preller], the entire Padres organization, my teammates, Major League Baseball and fans everywhere for my mistake. I have no excuse for my error, and I would never do anything to cheat or disrespect this game I love. I have taken countless drug tests throughout my professional career, including on March 29, 2022, all of which have returned negative results until this test."

Tatis took responsibility for the positive test and noted that he will not appeal, meaning he is out for the remainder of the 2022 season.

The 23-year-old superstar shortstop and outfielder had already missed the entire 2022 season to this point because of a wrist injury suffered during the offseason.

General manager A.J. Preller suggested that the injury was the result of a motorcycle accident, although the Padres and Tatis never officially declared that to be the case.

After Tatis was suspended Friday, Preller expressed disappointment in Tatis and his perceived lack of maturity, saying:

"He's somebody that from the organization's standpoint we've invested time and money into. When he's on the field, he's a difference-maker. You have to learn from the situations. We were hoping that from the offseason to now that there would be some maturity, and obviously with the news today, it's more of a pattern and it's something that we've got to dig a bit more into. ... I'm sure he's very disappointed. But at the end of the day, it's one thing to say it. You've got to start showing by your actions."

Padres pitchers Mike Clevinger and Joe Musgrove echoed Preller's sentiments Saturday, per Lin.

Clevinger said the suspension was the "second time we've been disappointed with [Tatis]," and Musgrove added that Tatis has to "start showing a little bit of remorse" for his actions.

The Padres went all-in at the trade deadline, dealing many of their top prospects for Soto and first baseman Josh Bell, as well as closer Josh Hader in a separate trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Tatis was expected to return and give the Padres one of MLB's most potent lineups down the stretch along with Soto, Machado, Bell, Jake Cronenworth and others.

That won't be the case, meaning the Padres are now tasked with reaching the playoffs and going on a run without a player who hit 42 home runs and finished third in the National League MVP voting last season.

Entering play Saturday, the Padres owned the final wild-card spot in the NL with a 64-51 record, two games ahead of the Brewers.

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