Padres fans up in arms over Ken Rosenthal's critique of Fernando Tatis Jr.

Uh oh! Ken Rosenthal should have rethought this one.

San Diego Padres outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr.
San Diego Padres outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Ken Rosenthal had a controversial take in his latest piece for The Athletic (subscription required). Rosenthal attempted point out the risks that come with signing young baseball players to massive, long-term deals.

Rosenthal chose Wander Franco's current situation as the prime example. At age 20, Franco signed an 11-year, $182-million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. Earlier this year, Franco was accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor and was placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball.

But Rosenthal took his critique of young players signing mega-deals much too far when he looped San Diego Padres outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. into the same story as Franco. Rosenthal pointed to Tatis' motorcycle accidents and 80-game suspension for PEDs as reasons that such large contracts handed out to young players are a mistake.

Padres fans up in arms over Ken Rosenthal’s latest piece criticizing Fernando Tatis Jr.

Obviously, linking Tatis' poor lapses in judgment with the accusations levied against Franco is comparing apple to oranges, and the Padres fanbase did not take too kindly to what appeared to be a side-by-side from Rosenthal.

Even Dodgers fans came to the defense of Tatis, which means something was really wrong with how Rosenthal presented his case.

Though Rosenthal admits Tatis' actions "were not nearly at the level of those Franco is accused of," he then went on to say that Franco could possibly get another chance in MLB? What?!

We're not saying it's impossible, but that's a very, very odd assessment to have immediately after you seemingly covered your tracks by acknowledging a difference in the magnitude of the alleged infractions.

This was a misstep by Rosenthal. Tatis has made his fair share of mistakes, and opposing fanbases, especially this past season, have taken shots at the Padres' right fielder because of them. Tatis was mercilessly heckled by the fans throughout Major League Baseball when the Friars went on the road last season.

But to lump in Tatis' immature acts with Franco's alleged exploits is inappropriate, even if you're stating what they did isn't comparable. Rosenthal, while trying to explain the risks involved when it comes to signing young players to long-term extensions, made a ill-suited comparison, and social media rightfully chastised him for it.

Tatis appears to have put his mistakes in the rearview mirror and will be the focal point of the Padres lineup once again in 2024. Franco? There's a good chance he never returns to MLB.

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