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Ex-Red Sox CP Jonathan Papelbon: I'd Hit Fernando Tatis Jr. Every AB After PED Test

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 16, 2022

Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Jonathan Papelbon is not a Fernando Tatis Jr. fan.

The former closer had strong words for Tatis after he was suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.

"This whole Tatis stuff, man, it almost enrages me," he said over the weekend on WEEI's The Bradfo Sho podcast. "I worked my ass off so long and so hard and did it the right way. For me, to see something like that, it hurts me so bad. I'll tell you right now: If I was pitching, every single time I face that dude, I'm drilling him. I don't care if I'm bringing in a run and losing the game."

Tatis' father, Fernando Tatis Sr., told the Dominican Republic's The Midday Show that his son had used Trofobol to treat ringworm on his neck, per ESPN's Alden Gonzalez. Clostebol, the banned substance that Tatis tested positive for, is one of the ingredients in Trofobol.

Regardless of why Tatis used Clostebol or whether he did so knowingly, the substance is on the banned list for both the World Anti-Doping Agency and Major League Baseball.

It will also keep the shortstop/outfielder out for the remainder of the regular season and through the playoffs if the Padres make it that far, with any remaining games of the suspension to be served next season. That has proved to be a disappointment for some of his teammates and general manager A.J. Preller.

"Very disappointed," pitcher Mike Clevinger told reporters. "The second time we've been disappointed with him. You hope he grows up and learns from this and learns it's about more than just him."

The first disappointment Clevinger was likely referencing was Tatis fracturing his wrist in an offseason motorcycle crash, which had sidelined the 23-year-old for the entirety of the current season.

"He's somebody that from the organization's standpoint we've invested time and money into," Preller said of Tatis, who signed a 14-year, $340 million contract extension in February 2021. "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."

Papelbon, 41, pitched for the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals in a 12-year career from 2005-16, accumulating 368 career saves.

The six-time All-Star was no stranger to a bit of controversy during his playing career himself, most famously fighting with teammate Bryce Harper in the Washington Nationals dugout.

So there is the possibility Papelbon would have chosen to throw fastballs in Tatis' direction every time he faced him had the two players' careers lined up, though many people would probably argue that it would be the least mature way possible for him to handle his grievances.

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