The baseball community was rocked on August 12th when the MLB announced that Fernando Tatis Jr. was being suspended 80 games for using performance-enhancing drugs. Tatis Jr. is one of the most exciting and captivating young stars in the league today, so this news stung.
Less than two weeks later, Fernando Tatis Jr. spoke and was visibly upset over his actions. “I’m gonna remember how this feels, and I’m gonna make myself not ever be in this position ever again. I know I have a lot of love that I have to gain back. I have a lot of work to do,” he said.
According to the MLB, Tatis Jr. tested positive for Clostebol, a testosterone-boosting anabolic steroid. As a result of the suspension, Fernando Tatis Jr. will miss the rest of the 2022 season, the 2022 postseason, the start of the 2023 season, and the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
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Fernando Tatis Jr. Isn’t the Only Player to Take PEDs
While performance-enhancing drugs have haunted the MLB for decades, things started to take a turn for the worse in the 2000s – largely due to the release of the 2005 book Juiced by Jose Canseco and the release of the Mitchell Report in 2007. In two years, baseball history changed.
Just like that, dozens of superstar players were thrown under the bus for their use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. It not only changed the way the MLB looked at its players, but it changed the way fans looked at their favorite players – it changed everything.
While Fernando Tatis Jr. is the latest MLB superstar to get caught using performance-enhancing drugs, he joins a list of hundreds of baseball players that have done the same. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent players to take PEDs – whether it was alleged or admitted to.
20. Bret Boone
While he never admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, Bret Boone was one of the many baseball players outed in Jose Canseco’s tell-all book in 2005. He allegedly used steroids in 2001, which would make sense – he hit 19 home runs in 2000, but 37 home runs in 2001.
Boone played 14 seasons in the MLB between 1992 and 2005. He finished his career with a .266 batting average, 1,775 hits, 252 home runs, 1,021 runs batted in, 927 runs scored, and 94 stolen bases. He hit a career-high 37 home runs in 2001 and another 35 home runs in 2003.
19. Chuck Finley
Chuck Finley is one of the few players on this list that weren’t listed in the Mitchell Report or in Jose Canseco’s book. Instead, it was his ex-wife who spilled the beans in 2002 during their divorce proceedings. She even testified that she witnessed her husband injecting steroids.
Finley played 17 seasons in the MLB between 1986 and 2002. He finished his career with a 200-173 record and 3.85 ERA in 467 starts (524 total games played). He was a five-time All-Star and had at least 15 wins in seven different seasons – including 18 wins twice.
18. Eric Gagne
Although he declined to comment at the time, Eric Gagne was listed in the Mitchell Report. He allegedly bought two kits of human growth hormone (hGH) from Kirk Radomski, which he had shipping receipts for. In 2010, Gagne admitted to taking hGH to recover from a knee injury.
Gagne played 10 seasons in the MLB between 1999 and 2008. He finished his career with a 33-26 record and 187 saves in 402 games – striking out 718 batters in 643.2 innings pitched. He won the Cy Young Award in 2003 when he led the majors with a career-high 55 saves.
17. Troy Glaus
Although he didn’t receive any discipline from baseball’s commissioner, Troy Glaus reportedly received an illegal prescription for both nandrolone and testosterone from Signature Pharmacy (through an anti-aging clinic) in 2003 and 2004. The news broke in 2007 by Sports Illustrated.
Glaus played 13 seasons in the MLB between 1998 and 2010. He finished his career with a .254 batting average, 1,375 hits, 320 home runs, 950 runs batted in, 889 runs scored, and 56 stolen bases. He hit a career-high 47 home runs in 2000 and another 41 home runs in 2001.
16. Brian Roberts
Brian Roberts was named in the Mitchell Report, based off a statement by former teammate Larry Bigbie – who said Roberts used steroids. Although he declined to comment at the time, Roberts later admitted to using steroids once in 2003, adding that it was a ‘terrible decision.’
Roberts played 14 seasons in the MLB between 2001 and 2014. He finished his career with a .276 batting average, 1,527 hits, 97 home runs, 542 runs batted in, 850 runs scored, and 285 stolen bases. He was a two-time All-Star and led the AL with 50 stolen bases in 2007.
15. Rafael Palmeiro
Rafael Palmeiro wasn’t listed in the Mitchell Report or Jose Caseco’s book, but he did test positive for steroids on August 1, 2005. Since it was a clear violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Palmeiro served a 10-game suspension for his wrongs.
Palmeiro played 20 seasons in the MLB between 1986 and 2005. He finished his career with a .288 batting average, 3,020 hits, 569 home runs, 1,835 runs batted in, 1,663 runs scored, and 97 stolen bases. He was a four-time All-Star who hit at least 40 home runs four times.
14. Juan Gonzalez
Although he continues to deny any steroid use, Juan Gonzalez has been linked to PED use several times. He was mentioned in the Mitchell Report when an unmarked Indians’ bag found in the team luggage had steroids in it. He was also named in Jose Canseco’s book in 2005.
Gonzalez played 17 seasons in the MLB between 1989 and 2005. The two-time MVP winner finished his career with a .295 batting average, 1,936 hits, 434 home runs, 1,404 RBIs, and 1,061 runs. He hit at least 40 home runs in five seasons and led the MLB in home runs twice.
13. Benito Santiago
Benito Santiago was listed in the Mitchell Report, having admitted to using PEDs during a BALCO federal grand jury testimony. In 2003, a clubhouse attendant for the San Francisco Giants found syringes in his locker, which ultimately led to the end of his long career.
Santiago played 20 seasons in the MLB between 1986 and 2005. He finished his career with a .263 batting average, 1,830 hits, 217 home runs, 920 RBIs, 755 runs scored, and 91 stolen bases. He was a five-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, and three-time Gold Glove winner.
12. Ivan Rodriguez
While he wasn’t listed in the Mitchell Report, Ivan Rodriguez was accused of using steroids by Jose Canseco in his 2005 book. In fact, Canseco claimed to be the one that had injected him with steroids while they were teammates. Still, Rodriguez disputed and denied those claims.
Rodriguez played 21 seasons between 1991 and 2011. The Hall of Famer finished his career with a .296 batting average, 2,844 hits, 311 home runs, 1,332 RBIs, 1,354 runs scored, and 127 stolen bases. He was a 14-time All-Star, one-time MVP, and 2003 World Series champion.
11. Mo Vaughn
Mo Vaughn was one of the 50+ players who were listed as clients of Kirk Radomski in the Mitchell Report. He allegedly bought $8,600 worth of human growth hormone (hGH) from Radomski – though Vaughn declined to interview, the evidence against him is fairly obvious.
Vaughn played 12 seasons in the MLB between 1991 and 2003. He finished his career with a .293 batting average, 1,620 hits, 328 home runs, 1,064 RBIs, and 861 runs scored. He was named MVP in 1995 when he led the AL in RBIs (126). He hit 44 home runs the following year.
10. Miguel Tejada
Miguel Tejada never bought testosterone or hGH from Kirk Radomski himself, but one of his former teammates stated that he bought $6,300 worth of PEDs from Radomski for Tejada – this was confirmed by Radomski and listed in the Mitchell Report. Tejada declined to comment.
Tejada played 16 seasons in the MLB between 1997 and 2013. The former MVP and Home Run Derby champion retired with a .285 batting average, 2,407 hits, 307 home runs, 1,302 RBIs, and 1,230 runs. He was a six-time All-Star and hit at least 20 home runs on 8 separate occasions.
9. Alex Rodriguez
Although Alex Rodriguez denied using PEDs in a 2007 interview with Katie Couric, a report by Sports Illustrated in 2009 noted differently – stating that he tested positive for testosterone and Primobolan during the 2003 season. It was a shocking development that hurt his legacy.
Rodriguez played 22 seasons in the MLB between 1994 and 2016. He finished his career with a .295 batting average, 3,115 hits, 696 home runs, 2,086 RBIs, 2,021 runs, and 329 stolen bases. He was a three-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, 10-time Silver Slugger, and World Series champion.
8. Sammy Sosa
In 2009, a New York Times article reported that Sammy Sosa was one of the many players to test positive for steroids in 2003. He denied using steroids in front of Congress in 2005 and has stayed true to that claim ever since. As a result, he was never inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Sosa played 18 seasons in the MLB between 1989 and 2007. He finished his career with a .273 batting average, 2,408 hits, 609 home runs, 1,667 RBIs, 1,475 runs, and 234 stolen bases. He was a seven-time All-Star, Home Run Derby champion, and was the 1998 MVP award winner.
7. Andy Pettite
According to the Mitchell Report, former MLB strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee not only provided and injected Andy Pettite with hGH in 2002 – Pettite was recovering from an elbow injury at the time. Several days after the allegation, he admitted to the hGH injections.
Pettite played 18 seasons in the MLB between 1995 and 2013. He finished his career with a 256-153 record, 3.85 ERA, 2,448 strikeouts, 26 complete games, and 4 shutouts in 3,316 innings pitched (531 games). He was a three-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion.
6. Gary Sheffield
Gary Sheffield was one of the nine players listed in the Mitchell Report who were linked to the BALCO scandal. His name was included because of a FedEx receipt to BALCO in Sheffield’s name. He later admitted to using steroids in front of the BALCO federal grand jury testimony.
Sheffield played 22 seasons in the MLB between 1988 and 2009. He finished his career with a .292 batting average, 2,689 hits, 509 home runs, 1,676 RBIs, 1,636 runs, and 253 stolen bases. He was a nine-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger, and 1997 World Series champion.
5. Jason Giambi
Despite his personal trainer warning him to stop using Deca-Durabolin, Jason Giambi didn’t listen and later tested positive for the PED in 2002. Giambi testified in front of the BALCO federal grand jury and admitted to his use of steroids, which he later apologized for in 2007.
Giambi played 20 seasons in the MLB between 1995 and 2014. He finished his career with a .277 batting average, 2,010 hits, 440 home runs, 1,441 RBIs, and 1,227 runs scored. He was a five-time All-Star, Home Run Derby champion, and was named MVP after the 2000 season.
4. Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens has never admitted to using PEDs, but both Jose Canseco and trainer Brian McNamee have alleged his use of hGH, Deca-Durabolin, Winstrol, Sustanon, and Anadrol between 1998 and 2001. It’s the only reason why Clemens will never be in the Hall of Fame.
Clemens played 24 seasons in the MLB between 1984 and 2007. He finished his career with a 354-184 record, 3.12 ERA, 4,672 strikeouts, 118 complete games, and 46 shutouts in 4,916.2 innings pitched. He was a seven-time Cy Young winner, two-time champion, and 1986 MVP.
3. Jose Canseco
Jose Canseco famously admitted to PED use in his 2005 book called Juiced, where he also outed a lot of other MLB players. A 2007 Sports Illustrated article also reported that he bought hGH, testosterone, stanozolol, and human chorionic gonadotropin from Signature Pharmacy.
Canseco played 17 seasons in the MLB between 1985 and 2001. He retired with a .266 batting average, 1,877 hits, 462 home runs, 1,407 RBIs, 1,186 runs, and 200 stolen bases. He was a Rookie of the Year, MVP, two-time champion, six-time All-Star, and four-time Silver Slugger.
2. Mark McGwire
Mark McGwire was listed in Jose Canseco’s book and has long been linked to steroid use. He admitted to using androstenedione in 1998, but it wasn’t yet banned by the MLB. It wasn’t until 2010 that he finally admitted to what fans already knew – he used steroids most of his career.
McGwire played 16 seasons in the MLB between 1986 and 2001. He finished his career with a .263 batting average, 1,626 hits, 583 home runs, 1,414 RBIs, and 1,167 runs scored. He was a Rookie of the Year, 12-time All-Star, one-time champion, and Home Run Derby champion.
1. Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds testified in front of the BALCO federal grand jury and denied using steroids, but he was later indicted for lying under oath – those charges were dropped. While he has never admitted to using steroids, it’s something most fans and analysts will always hold against him.
Bonds played 22 seasons in the MLB between 1986 and 2007. He finished his career with a .298 batting average, 2,935 hits, 762 home runs, 1,996 RBIs, and 2,227 runs scored. He was a seven-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, Home Run Derby champ, and 12-time Silver Slugger.
What Does the Future Hold for Fernando Tatis Jr.?
Fernando Tatis Jr. is currently taking a lot of heat for his PED use – and rightfully so. There’s no room for cheating in sports and there’s certainly no excuse for it. What Tatis Jr. did was wrong and now he’ll have to pay for it – not just with a suspension, but he’ll have to gain his trust back.
While we won’t be seeing Fernando Tatis Jr. for a while, he’s still a member of the San Diego Padres and will return at some point in 2023. At that point, he’ll begin his comeback tour – which won’t be easy, especially considering all the ‘boos’ he’ll have to deal with when he does return.
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As for the Padres, they’ll have to do without one of their stars for the rest of the 2022 campaign. In a way, it’s a good thing they traded for Juan Soto at the trade deadline. Still, they’re currently fighting for a Wild Card spot with the Philadelphia Phillies – we’ll see if they make the playoffs!
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