San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy after testing positive for Clostebol, and David Ortiz believes the league could have handled the situation differently.
"MLB needs to have some regulations before they made public news like the one that happened to Tatis Jr.," he said, per baseball insider Héctor Gómez. "I think they haven't handled this situation the right way. We can't kill our product, we're talking about an amazing player."
Ortiz is correct in saying Tatis is "an amazing player" considering the shortstop was an All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger winner during his first three seasons. He led the league with 42 home runs in 2021 after he signed a 14-year, $340 million contract extension with the Padres.
However, the 23-year-old is yet to play a game this season because of a fractured wrist, and now he won't take the field again until the 2023 campaign.
Tatis said he tested positive because he "inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm" as part of a statement issued by the MLB Players Association:
Padres manager Bob Melvin told reporters Tatis "feels remorseful" about the suspension that added to his extended absence that started with the wrist injury that required surgery and may have happened because of a December motorcycle accident.
"This is the second time we've been disappointed with him," pitcher Mike Clevinger told reporters. "You hope he grows up and learns from this and learns that it's about more than just him right now. I think we're going to be just fine. Look at this clubhouse. We really don't need anybody else. It'd be nice to have somebody else, but we don't need anybody else. We got everything we need right here."
General manager A.J. Preller didn't exactly hold back when discussing the situation either:
Fortunately for the Padres, they improved their team ahead of the trade deadline by adding Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury and Josh Hader and are currently in wild-card position in the National League.
Regardless, it was a stunning development, and Ortiz isn't the only one who thinks it could have been handled differently.
Fernando Tatis Sr. said the situation started with a haircut:
Héctor Gómez @hgomez27
Fernando Tatis Sr: "It was a mistake that could have been handled differently, destroy the image of a player for such a small thing, for a situation like this. Is a catastrophe not just for Tatis Jr, but for all baseball. There’s millions of fans that will stop watching baseball"
For his part, Ortiz was also connected to PEDs from his playing days. However, he has consistently discredited that connection and has since been elected to the Hall of Fame even though others who were connected, such as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, have not.