Big news hit the Padres this last week as it's star player, Fernando Tatis Jr., was caught cheating with steroids. Although he's been out this season due to injury, it's still has a psychological effect on the team and the fans. My view is that it doesn't surprise me. Perhaps this is because I've been on mother-earth for 50 years and been around long enough to see things as they are, not as they're portrayed. Mix in a little common sense and the picture becomes clearer. That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed; I'm just not surprised. It's like hearing that a famous singer or actor/actress gets busted for alcohol and drugs, or worse, does from it like the late Anne Heche. Unfortunately, the easy path to cope with pressure is often the unhealthy and possibly illegal path.
Physical strength isn't the only factor that determines a ball player's performance. There is knowledge aided by hours of studying the competition, utilizing the mind in calculating how the pitcher is going to throw the ball or where the batter will hit the ball in the given situation. There is also the skillset involved. One must initiate the swing of the bat swing at the correct angle in order to perfectly hit the projectile that's coming towards him at 95 mph. There is the quick jump, reach, catch and throw of the ball when it's coming barely within reach and there's a runner on 3rd who can score the tying run.
Fernando Tatis Jr. (left) celebrating with Manny Margot.
2020 Topps Card #634
I think we have to accept that once an athlete gets into professional sports, there is a tremendous amount of pressure to perform. Additionally, there is increased accessibility to obtain illicit substances to boost performance and/or cope with said pressure. If a fan keeps that in mind, I think they can get past the anger of when a star player gets caught; the emotion becomes more of a melancholic disappointment. This will then enable the fans to continue to root for their favorite team and embrace the player upon his/her return. We'll have a welcome back but a don't you dare do that again attitude.
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