Excitement for the San Diego Padres upcoming season was very apparent as the team welcomed 48,000 strong to their FanFest at Petco Park this weekend.
All eyes were on superstar phenom Fernando Tatis Jr who undoubtedly let his team and fans down last year when he tested positive for PED’s, causing a huge blow to not only the Padres World Series hopes, but also Tatis’ image and reputation.
But as Saturday’s FanFest proved, Tatis is still beloved in San Diego…
— Adrian (@aidansdaddy619) February 4, 2023
“Beloved” might be an understatement when it comes to this fan who had Tatis autograph his thigh so he could have his signature tattooed on him forever…
He got his thigh signed by Fernando Tatis Jr. today and immediately went and got it tattooed
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) February 4, 2023
To Tatis’ credit, he didn’t shy away from the difficult questions – and he’s very well aware that a rocky road awaits him this coming season…
Fernando Tatis Jr. is asked about dealing with the potential reaction of fans on the road.
Tatis: "I'm definitely looking forward to that challenge. It's going to be fun. It's going to be one of the most emotional years I feel like in my career. I'm looking to embrace it." pic.twitter.com/YBwIFyW2v9
— 97.3 The Fan (@973TheFanSD) February 4, 2023
It helps when you know how to play to a crowd – and Tatis surely does…
“I’m not going to leave for a really long time” 🤎
– Fernando Tatis Jr. today at Padres fan fest pic.twitter.com/o4hQOIxxDs
— Aleni 🌴🐚 (@AleniHernandez) February 5, 2023
Lost in the PED disappointment is how good of a player Tatis is – Let’s just hope he can sustain his high performance naturally…
Wow great prediction for FERNANDO Tatis JR I think he will have 38 HRs and 90 runs and 93 RBIS and 20 stolen bases and .300 batting average. And 580 Slugging percentage and 950 ops I hope he helps the @Padres win the World Series. #respect pic.twitter.com/RYTznDjZpY
— Brandon Schaer (@BrandonSchaer) February 6, 2023
One thing is for sure – Tatis’ joyful energy is contagious and if he can keep clean he can truly be one of the faces of baseball, especially to young kids new to the game…
Fernando Tatis Jr. is the Face of Baseball if you like it or not.
No one has made a bigger impact on the kids in the time since he’s been called up.
If you want to grow the sport then he’s your man. pic.twitter.com/478mE8epTo
— Devine Sports Gospel (@DevineGospel) February 3, 2023
Either way, the Padres lineup will be absolutely stacked this season…
It’s incredible that the Padres will have Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatís in the same lineup this season. pic.twitter.com/u31u5GkrYI
— Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique) February 6, 2023