How Fernando Tatis Jr.’s Career Got Off Track

Support for Tatis at home remains evident. Ricardo Lopez, who owns a bar near the waterfront in San Pedro de Macorís that Tatis and Robinson Canó have patronized, noted Tatis’s charitable actions and said, “He’s the best, for me. He’s humble. I don’t think he did it intentionally like people say.”

When he apologized to teammates, the organization and the public in August, Tatis called his P.E.D. violation “a stupid mistake” and admitted to being “reckless.” To fans who have lost faith, Tatis vowed, “I’m going to give them a story to believe in me again.”

Tatis has not spoken publicly since August and is not expected to give interviews before spring training in 2023.

The off-field damage for Tatis could linger. A year ago, his jersey was the second-most popular in the game behind the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, according to M.L.B. sales figures. Today, the shoe company Adidas publicly has cut ties with him. Spokespeople for Gatorade and Dairy Queen did not return emails for this story, but Tatis’s national spots with them appear to have been dropped as well.

“It’s not only that Tatis has harmed his marketing prospects, it’s how he compromised them,” said David Carter, a professor of sports business at the University of Southern California. “Many fans and consumers are willing to give an athlete the benefit of the doubt, but when a high-profile case deals with the integrity of the sport, it can be much harder to overcome.”

Seidler, the team owner, said he still believes in Tatis and would do the same 14-year contract again today even after the suspension.

“Absolutely. No regrets,” he said.

The Tatis family has moved to the upscale Dominican beachside community of Juan Dolio, but after the suspension they returned to a church in their home area of San Pedro de Macorís, known as the cradle of Dominican baseball because of ties to Sammy Sosa, Tony Fernández and Canó, among others. At that church, Jerusalén Primera, the congregation prayed over its fallen star.

Source link