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Monday, August 10, 2020

Fernando Tatis, Jr. is bringing joy back to baseball

Since the Padres’ opener on July 24, all Tatis has done is play better than everyone in the sport. Through the first quarter of Major League Baseball’s truncated 60-game season, nobody had more wins above replacement than the 21-year-old Tatis. His excellence isn’t purely statistical either. His home runs are majestic, his bat flips righteous, his drip undeniable.

What Tatis does not yet realize is how symbiotic his relationship with baseball is. As much as it fulfills him, the game needs him even more. MLB spent much of the first three months of the pandemic fighting players over money. As baseball tries to endure amid coronavirus outbreaks, the best antidote to its predilection for self-immolation is a player like Tatis, whose only dalliance with fire comes in emoji form.

Watching Tatis play baseball is a trip in a time machine, only not to professional baseball’s past. It is a direct line to childhood, to countless hours spent with friends doing all the things coaches warned you never to do, like slide to field a ground ball or score from first on a ground ball single up the middle or tag up from third base on a popup to second. They told you never to do that because you weren’t Fernando Tatis Jr.

“He does [everything] with energy and passion,” Padres general manager A.J. Preller says. “I think all of those things are reasons that you want to turn on the TV at 7 and watch a Padres game.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 10, 2020 at 09:34 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: fernando tatis, jr., padres

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   1. The Duke Posted: August 10, 2020 at 02:05 PM (#5968831)
The fun police will catch him soon. And you know what you get when you run from the police.
   2. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: August 10, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5968833)
over/under:

6 days until he gets beaned by a 95+ MPH fastball between the shoulderblades
   3. eric Posted: August 10, 2020 at 04:32 PM (#5968882)
his drip undeniable.


???
   4. Walt Davis Posted: August 10, 2020 at 06:53 PM (#5968917)
Per the urban dictionary, flex hard or be so wet as to shed small drops of liquid ... like after a monster slam dunk I suppose ... also "swagger"
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 10, 2020 at 09:00 PM (#5968933)
be so wet as to shed small drops of liquid
I believe that’s now called a “superspreader.”
   6. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: August 11, 2020 at 10:04 AM (#5969014)
His excellence isn’t purely statistical either. His home runs are majestic, his bat flips righteous, his drip undeniable.


I came here hoping to find that this was about Tatis playing really well and smiling a lot. But alas, joy in the current age must be expressed with bat flips and preening.

Watching Tatis play baseball is a trip in a time machine, only not to professional baseball’s past. It is a direct line to childhood, to countless hours spent with friends doing all the things coaches warned you never to do, like slide to field a ground ball or score from first on a ground ball single up the middle or tag up from third base on a popup to second. They told you never to do that because you weren’t Fernando Tatis Jr.


I have coached Little League baseball for the last nine years. And yes, I'm part of the "fun police" this type of article is targeting, what with my demands to be respectful to opponents and my encouragement to celebrate spontaneously with teammates rather than as an act of self-aggrandizement. However, I have never coached kids not to do any of these things. In fact, I've specifically coached two of them (scoring from first on a ground ball up the middle and tagging up on a popup to second base) when I thought that they were the right play. Aggressive doesn't necessarily mean stupid, and respectful doesn't mean joyless.
   7. Hysterical & Useless Posted: August 11, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5969076)
6 days until he gets beaned by a 95+ MPH fastball between the shoulderblades

Is Tatis Jr one of Othello's "men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders"?

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