Fernando Tatis goes on injured list due to health, safety protocols

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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DENVER — San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was among three players the Padres added to the injured list due to health and safety protocols.

Joining Tatis on the list were utility players Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo, the Padres announced before their game at Colorado.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler said he learned of Tatis’ positive test in a phone call late Monday nigh but that Tatis was symptom-free at the moment.

“Naturally, you’re punched in the stomach a little bit,” Tingler said. “You first of all want to make sure, certainly for Tatis in this situation, is he feeling OK? And it was good to kind of see him over Facetime, and he’s feeling well. I mean he is crushed, he’s crushed inside, mentally, things like that.

“At the same time, for our guys here, we have a chance to pick him up. We’ve got a chance to pick it up up a little bit. We’re coming off a fairly decent offensive game. Look, it’s a blow, but we’ve got the guys. It’s not going to be one guy having to carry a lot of things. It’s going to be a lot of guys chipping in and contributing.”

Tatis spent time on the injured list last month with inflammation in his left shoulder. He leads the Padres with nine homers and 23 runs.

The 22-year-old Tatis has flourished on the road this season, hitting .385 with six homers and 10 RBIS. His 1.302 OPS on the road is the second-best mark in the majors of any player with at least 40 plate appearances, trailing only Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (1.364). “It is what it is,” outfielder Wil Myers said. “We’re in a situation where things are going on right now but we’ll just adapt and keep going. We’ve got three new guys in here today and we’re ready for the game today.”

Profar has reached base safely in eight of his last 10 games. He is hitting .234 this season with one homer.

Mateo was called upon as a pinch hitter in the ninth Sunday in San Francisco. He had an RBI double in San Diego’s 11-1 win.

He’s hitting .400 over his last six games.

San Diego recalled infielder/outfielder Tucupita Marcano and right-hander Nabil Crismatt from Triple-A El Paso and selected the contract of outfielder John Andreoli to the 40-man roster.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.