Eric Hosmer shows support for Fernando Tatis Jr. amidst PED scandal
Eric Hosmer isn’t on the San Diego Padres anymore, but he’s still got his former teammates’ backs.
Even when they test positive for steroids and get suspended 80 games after already being on the Injured List all season for dubious reasons.
On Friday night, after the Boston Red Sox completed an epic walk-off victory to open their series against the New York Yankees, Hosmer was asked about Fernando Tatis Jr. Less than an hour before first pitch at Fenway Park, Tatis inadvertently broke the internet when it was revealed that he’d tested positive for Clostebol, a substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list, and would be suspended 80 games, effective immediately. He’d already been on the Injured List for the entire season and was finally rehabbing with a Padres’ minor-league team when the news broke. Now, his season is over before it’s even begun.
Tatis’ teammates are publicly voicing their upset, with Joe Musgrove admitting he’s “a little bummed, a little pissed,” and Mike Clevinger noting that this is “the second time we’ve been disappointed with him.” Padres president of baseball operations, A.J. Preller, spoke about ‘an erosion of trust.’
Hosmer, on the other hand, has his back. According to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, the new Sox first baseman showed his support after the Sox won their Friday night game:
"“Hosmer said “I love Fernando” and “I will always have his back,” but said that he did not know enough about the details of the suspension to comment on it.”"
Until last week, Hosmer was with the Padres, attempting to win games without Tatis, who showed up to spring training with a fractured wrist. He casually admitted that he might have sustained the injury in a motorcycle accident. Riding motorcycles violated his contract’s Hazardous Activities clause, but with the offseason timeline complicated by the 99-day lockout, the Padres opted not to attempt voiding his contract, wanting to keep the relationship copacetic.
Still, the club was already unhappy with Tatis for reckless behavior. His absence weakened the lineup considerably, and there were many games in which it was clear that his power would’ve made the difference. He also angered fans when he was seen playing soccer while still injured.
Did Fernando Tatis Jr. use PEDs?
In his official statement, Tatis said he “inadvertently” took a ringworm medication that contained the banned substance. He apologized to Padres personnel in depth, as well as MLB, and fans, saying it was a “mistake” but that he has “no excuse.” He also admitted, “I am completely devastated.”
Tatis has never failed a drug test in his professional career, so there is reasonable doubt as to his intent. And as the San Diego Union-Tribune noted, there are several ways Clostebol can get into a person’s body, including contaminated meat and over-the-counter antibiotic creams, presumably like the medication Tatis says caused his failed test. However, the Union-Tribune also noted that clostebol acetate is banned by the FDA, which would make it difficult for him to obtain in the United States, potentially poking a hole in the story.
At best, Tatis made a careless mistake. Worst-case scenario, he doped on purpose. Regardless, the Padres are unhappy with him; everyone from AJ Preller to Mike Clevinger has voiced their disappointment and it’s clear that the trust between player and club is deeply fractured. At least his former teammate is in his corner.