Can you really blame the guy, though? Fernando Tatis Jr. has been away from Major League Baseball for so long that he's probably forgotten about best offseason practices -- not that he was a master at that before his extended absence from 2021 through all of 2022, anyway (Oh, that absence will last until April 20th!).
While Tatis was rehabbing from his wrist injury suffered in a motorcycle accident last offseason, he apparently didn't pay any attention to Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts guaranteeing a World Series victory ... which culminated in an NLDS loss to the San Diego Padres.
These kinds of declarations never come to fruition, but how could a 24-year-old who's played in just 273 career games and hasn't stepped foot on the field since Oct. 3, 2021, which was the exclamation point on the Padres' second-half collapse, know any better?
At the Padres FanFest (Bandwagon Fest) over the weekend, Tatis was front and center alongside Manny Machado, Juan Soto and newcomer Xander Bogaerts as they answered questions, mingled and broke out some dance moves.
But lost in the shuffle was the bad omen Tatis Jr. put on the Padres for the upcoming 2023 season when he answered a fan's question about the World Series.
Dodgers fans are loving that Fernando Tatis Jr. is guaranteeing a Padres World Series
In a since-deleted video (probably because it was getting ratioed through the roof), Tatis said "it doesn't matter" who the Padres face in the World Series "because we still gonna win it all." Hang that banner for the 2022 NLDS, folks!
The Padres will undoubtedly be better in 2023 with Bogaerts, the return of Tatis and a full season of Soto. But will they be 22 games better? Because that was the gap between them and the Dodgers in the NL West last year. The year prior? 27 games. Hard to envision an overnight change when it comes to an historic 10-year run vs one outlier appearance in the NLCS.
Sure, the Dodgers "technically" got worse, but are they ever really anything less than a 90-win team regardless of the roster construction? In every full season since 2013, LA's never won fewer than 91 games. The Padres haven't won 90 games since 2010.
Props to the folks in San Diego for the renewed sense of energy ... but with larger expectations come a required sense of tact. It takes a lot of high-profile failure to understand that, too.
If the Padres can graduate to a semblance of regular season supremacy, maybe Dodgers fans can take stuff like this seriously. Perhaps a few more trips to church to be blessed by a priest might be in store for Tatis before the Padres can win a division title and parlay it into a championship parade.