The MLB free agency hot stove is boiling. The Freddie Freeman is almost certainly over in Atlanta, and teams are wheeling and dealing. The A's have traded away another heavy-hitter, the Yankees added pieces, and Fernando Tatis is injured again. Nature is healing.
The Stars Were Bright (But Maybe Not) Fernando
- July 2018: season-ending surgery (thumb)
- August 2019: season-ending back injury
- April 2021: left shoulder subluxation
- July 2021: 2nd left shoulder subluxation (misses 32 games that season)
- March 2022: fractured wrist (expected to miss a few months)
Before I remind you of something that happened to Tatis in the offseason, let me be blunt. I have no information that succinctly connects these two particular events, but it does make one wonder. Where did Tatis get this injury?
This situation got even more cringe-worthy.
Ouch, literally and figuratively. First, let's give a little grace. Due to the MLB lockout happening for much of the offseason, if Tatis needed medical guidance from his team, he was likely unable to get it due to the lockout. It didn't freeze him from getting any medical advice, but that situation can get tricky when you're in a contract with a professional sports team. With the medical care aspect in mind, Tatis perhaps should have exercised a little more mature judgment. He signed a contract that will net him $340 million. When his career is over they'll be plenty of time in his young life to ride a motorcycle. However, it is also fair to keep in mind that Tatis is 23 years old. He's very young. The people in his life (i.e. the Padres' front office) should probably be doing something to limit the amount of risk to his body in the offseason. Is there nothing in his contract that perhaps keeps him from making these choices?
Tatis Jr. is not nearly the first player to injure themselves in the offseason. Riding a motorcycle is not nearly the worst judgment ever made by a player in injuring themselves.
Jeff Kent famously injured himself riding his motorcycle, but he told everyone he did it washing his car. That excuse is dumber than the reason he hurt himself.
Steve Trout fell off a stationary exercise bike while with the Cubs, which landed him on the injured list.
Milton Bradley tore his ACL arguing with an umpire. Bradley's career was a mix of disaster and volatility, so this one just screams with irony.
Kevin Brown, Hunter Strickland, and a few other players injured themselves punching walls in frustration.
The Loss of Tatis
The loss of Fernando Tatis Jr. is bad for baseball, bad for the Padres, and bad for the National League West. Last season the Padres took a disastrous nosedive around August and did not compete for the division. The NL west still managed to be a bloodbath between the Dodgers and Giants. If the Giants can repeat their miracle performances, the Dodgers are still slated to be favorites, the Padres had their work cut out for them. They'll now be without their best player and MVP candidate for half of the season.