Reggie Jackson Says MLB ‘Needs Players’ Like Fernando Tatis Jr.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has emerged as one of the bright young stars in the game. He has become one of the core pieces to the San Diego Padres‘ future behind his stellar play at the play and at his position. However, Tatis Jr. found himself in the middle of a controversy over a late-game grand slam in a blowout against the Texas Rangers. Despite that, he has received support from many that include Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.

Fernando Tatis Jr. grand slam controversy

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The San Diego Padres are off to a decent start in the shortened season, splitting their first 24 games, but controversy has come in their latest win.

During the Padres’ 14-4 win over the Rangers, Tatis Jr. became the center of disdain from their opponent. He missed a take sign and swung on a 3-0 pitch with a seven-run lead in the eighth inning that resulted in a grand slam. It marked the first time he achieved that feat in his career while giving him the league lead with 11 home runs and a career-high seven RBI in the game.

That immediately drew ire from Texas that saw manager Chris Woodward become upset about the situation. Rangers pitcher Ian Gibaut decided to throw behind star third baseman Manny Machado. A warning was issued to Gibaut, but after the game, Woodard had strong words about Tatis Jr.’s actions stating he didn’t like it.

All that didn’t take long for Tatis Jr. to respond to the situation that his grand slam created.

Fernando Tatis Jr. apologizes for his actions

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It didn’t take long for the entire situation to come back around to Fernando Tatis Jr.

It was a situation that the star shortstop didn’t realize that he caused so much tension for breaking an “unwritten rule.” Tatis Jr. voiced an apology after the game that he will learn from the experience. (H/T ESPN)

“I’ve been in this game since I was a kid,” he said. “I know a lot of unwritten rules. I was kind of lost on this. Those experiences, you have to learn. Probably next time, I’ll take a pitch.”

There weren’t any ill intentions from him on the grand slam as he swung at a pitch that he believed he could hit. Tatis Jr. also didn’t watch his home run after hit it and immediately ran the bases. All that made it immediately quite puzzling for him that the Rangers responded in that manner.

It’s a situation that didn’t entirely head in the opposite direction as Tatis Jr. has received support from Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and a few other notable all-time greats.

Reggie Jackson among others come to his support

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Since the entire situation unfolded, there has been plenty of support thrown in Fernando Tatis Jr.’s direction.

Among those is Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, who took to Twitter on Tuesday voicing that Tatis Jr. should continue to play hard, and that game needs more players like him.

“Fernando Tatis keep playing hard and playing great, it’s a pleasure to watch you play, love your success and the Padres rise to be a winner. Keep leading the way. It ain’t easy to hit Hrs. Keep bringing energy you have to the game, we need players like you. An All Star.”

Tatis Jr. is one of the most praised young players in the majors by his teammates and colleagues. He has quickly garnered respect from his peers as he continues his ascension to one of the game’s best all-around talents. This entire controversy further shows the support and admiration he has from even all-time greats.

Ultimately, it’s a situation that Tatis Jr. will grow from moving forward to avoid any unnecessary disdain.