Eduardo Perez apologizes for perceived dig at Fernando Tatis Jr. during Dodgers-Padres
Even by accident, people are taking shots at the San Diego Padres after their series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The three-game set came to a head on Sunday Night Baseball when Mookie Betts hit a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth before Michael Busch and James Outman won it in extras.
The ESPN broadcast was livened after seeing just the second run scored since the first inning. Betts' solo blast came off Josh Hader in a battle of behemoths. So it makes sense why Eduardo Perez "slipped" when he took an accidental dig at Fernando Tatis Jr.
After Betts had left the yard and rounded the bases, Perez commented on the former MVP's superstar status. And when the director put the cameras on Fernando Tatis Jr., Perez rolled with it and believed he went too far.
Dodgers fans certainly don't think so. They love it. They want more. But for a national broadcast, Perez knew what he said wasn't appropriate and apologized for it on Monday morning.
"As soon as I said it, I cringed. It wasn’t that I was carried away in the moment, it’s that you look at the screen because you’re trying to see and follow where the director is going as well. By coincidence, it was Fernando Tatís Jr. that popped up on the screen. It could have been anyone else…it could have been Dave Roberts. And I said, ‘Nando, this is what superstars look like.’ And I cringed a little bit and I said, ‘Did it sound bad or not?’"- Eduardo Perez, SiriusXM Radio
ESPN's Eduardo Perez apologizes for Fernando Tatis Jr. dig during Dodgers-Padres
Very graceful of Perez to apologize, but totally not needed! Perhaps Tatis Jr. could learn a bit more about what a true superstar looks like. They don't salsa in the outfield when opposing fanbases call them out. They don't get suspended for PEDs (well, most don't). They don't recklessly ride motorcycles and get into offseason accidents that could jeopardize their career. They don't get ejected from games when their team needs them the most. And they certainly don't pretend they're bulletproof after 288 career MLB games.
Tatis' talent is undeniable. He already has two top-four MVP finishes, two Silver Slugger awards, one All-Star nod, and an incredible .292/.366/.591 slash line with 220 runs scored, 85 home runs, 205 RBI and 52 stolen bases. His splits with RISP, two outs with RISP, and in high-leverage situations are unbelievable.
But he already has a career's worth of unnecessary drama at the young age of 24. And the Padres expressed a lack of confidence in him when they took the starting shortstop job off his plate less than two years after they signed him to a $340 million extension.
In short, Perez wasn't wrong. And even if he truly felt that way and said it purposefully, it wouldn't have been viewed as outlandish or harsh, since we're only hearing about it now that he's apologized.
Tatis has to grow in many other areas before he's an undisputed superstar like Betts, and there's nothing wrong with vocalizing that, since any baseball fan would probably agree.