I don’t normally post photos of myself (see above), but I thought some might enjoy reading about my current dilemma. But first, a little background.
San Diego Padres shortstop, Fernando Tatis Jr., has been in the sports news quite a bit lately. The Padres picked up 17YO Fernando Tatis Jr. in a trade with the Chicago White Sox back in 2016. After three years of rapid development in the Padres’ minor leagues farm system, Fernando was promoted to the big league roster in March 2019 at the tender age of 20. El Niño was so impressive in his first two seasons and widely acknowledged as a “generational talent” that the Padres gave him a 14-year, $340 million contract extension prior to the 2021 campaign.
Giving a young man a lot of recognition and money is usually a recipe for disaster. Tatis was involved in multiple motorcycle accidents in the 2021-2022 offseason. He reported to Spring Training with an untreated fracture of the scaphoid bone in his left wrist. That was really dumb. Surgery was performed on Tatis’ wrist on March 16 and after nearly five months of rehab, he was close to rejoining the team. However, on August 12, MLB announced that Tatis was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid. Tatis accepted the suspension, but alleged, “I inadvertently took a medication to treat ringworm (supposedly contracted from a haircut) that contained Clostebol.” Many doubt the veracity of Tatis’ alibi. The bottom line is the Padres’ $24M/year young and reckless superstar won’t be returning to baseball until May 2023.
Okay, now what about the old guy in the top photos decked out in a Tatis t-shirt? Our oldest son gave me that shirt as a gift a year ago. Clothes hounds say no sensible man should wear a sports jersey/t-shirt past the age of 29. Ach. I never did conform to fashion. But now I feel kind of foolish wearing the t-shirt of a cheater in public. What a dilemma!
Back in the day, when a person got caught in some type of nefarious public scandal, they became social outcasts/pariah for the rest of their lives. Hester Prynne had to wear a scarlett “A.” Oops! She was fictional. What about the 1919 Chicago White Sox who blew the World Series on purpose and became known as the Black Sox? What about the Milli Vanilli guys who went into hiding after being exposed for not actually singing on their albums? I remember a young Kodak Elmgrove HR hiring manager back in the 1980s, John B—-, who extorted from $500 to $1000 from job applicants, but got found out when people were subsequently laid off and demanded their money back. It’s certain B—- never held a job in the corporate world again. But things are loosening up a bit in this degenerating society. These days a person can be elected president of the United States even after having multiple adulterous affairs. Experts in “crisis PR” are kept very busy coaching scandal-tainted celebrities on how to rehabilitate their careers. Fernando Tatis Jr. will serve out his suspension and be back on the field in nine months, but many baseball fans will always think of El Niño as a cheater.
I’m so grateful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because He didn’t turn away the social outcasts and pariahs. He actually hung out with them and preached the Good News! to them. We all have done or thought sinful things that we’re ashamed of, whether we got caught or not. Jesus knows all and will forgive all if we repent and trust in Him as Savior by faith alone. There’s no ignominy in Christ Jesus.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans 8:1