San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who is suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drugs policy, addressed the media about his punishment for the first time Tuesday.
"I'm truly sorry," he told reporters. "… I have let so many people down. I have lost so much love from people. I have failed."
He also said: "There's no other one to blame but myself … I'm going to remember how this feels, and I'm not going to put myself in this position ever again. I know I have a lot of love I have to gain back. I have a lot of work to do. It's going to be a very long process."
Tatis also explained his immediate reaction to the news of his suspension:
Tatis released a statement following the punishment that said he "inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol." On Tuesday, he said he received the medication for a skin infection prior to testing positive in July but did not have any excuses.
The 23-year-old will not play a single game this season because of the suspension. He was previously sidelined with a fractured wrist that Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune noted he suffered from a motorcycle fall and was on a minor league rehab assignment when news of the suspension broke.
Acee noted Tatis met with team chairman Peter Seidler on Saturday and addressed teammates Tuesday before his press conference with the media.
That was notable because his punishment led to a cold reaction from some within the organization. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported "the Padres remain absolutely livid with Tatis," while president of baseball operations A.J. Preller questioned his maturity:
Some teammates also responded:
Preller told reporters Tuesday that he has discussed Tatis' mistakes with the shortstop and there is an understanding in place that he needs to become more mature.
After all, the two-time Silver Slugger is one of the faces of the franchise, especially after he signed a 14-year, $340 million contract extension in 2021. While the team turned heads at the trade deadline by adding Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury and Josh Hader, the impending return of Tatis figured to give San Diego an even better chance at winning the World Series.
Instead, he is sidelined as the Padres attempt to build on their 1.5-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the final National League Wild Card spot.
Tatis will also use his time away to get healthier, as Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported he will undergo surgery on his shoulder.