Tatis, Manny address dust-up: 'That's done'

September 22nd, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- Three days after their spat in the visiting dugout at Busch Stadium went viral, and were back home in San Diego, standing side by side, with a message to deliver:

"We handled it internally," Machado said. "We've got a team that's trying to compete and get to the World Series. We haven't been playing such great baseball, so emotions get involved, and it gets the better of us. Those are situations that we learn [from], as leaders, as a team, as an organization. And we just get better from that.”

Ahead of the Padres' game against the Giants on Tuesday, Machado and Tatis decided to jointly address a group of local media before they took the field for batting practice. It marked the first time that the superstar duo had spoken to reporters since Machado was filmed yelling at Tatis in the dugout on Saturday night.

The argument arose as the result of Tatis dwelling too long for Machado's liking on a strike-three call. Machado could be heard yelling, "It's not about you," among other things.

Speaking on Tuesday, Machado first lamented that the incident was caught on camera in a public setting, then he offered an apology to Padres fans. Families fight, Machado said, and he reiterated that his relationship with Tatis remains strong as ever.

"This is my little brother," Machado said. "We're here to always be together, and we're going to always be together, no matter what. We've got a lot of years here moving forward. That's done."

Of course, the verbal altercation between Machado and Tatis didn't happen in a vacuum. The Padres have plummeted in the standings, and this weekend's sweep in St. Louis dropped them four games behind the Cardinals in the race for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.

Tatis and Machado, of course, signed the two most lucrative contracts in franchise history and are the biggest superstars on a team that was considered a heavy favorite to reach the playoffs before the season. Both were deserving All-Stars in July, but as the Padres have struggled down the stretch, both have underperformed by their lofty standards.

It’s led to a large measure of frustration from both, and that frustration was the driving force behind Saturday's dust-up, according to Tatis, who added that maybe it wasn't such a bad thing.

"It's part of baseball," Tatis said. "It's part of this game. It's part of what this game brings out, especially when good players are trying to win, and stuff is not going our way.

"At the end of the day, it's: 'Glad it happened.' I feel like that makes us stronger. You go inside, and you talk about it, and you analyze it, and you just come together."

The Padres, of course, are running out of time to salvage their season. After being swept this weekend, they no longer control their own destiny in the Wild Card race for the first time this season.

On top of that, their final 13 games come against the Giants, Braves and Dodgers -- three teams currently occupying postseason spots. It's a steep uphill climb, and the Padres know it -- which, Machado said, is why he and Tatis felt the need to address reporters together, before putting the situation entirely behind them.

"We're here to take away the distractions from the team," Machado said. "We've got bigger fish to fry. We've got bigger things to be worrying about right now than to be worrying about something that is not a big deal. We're going to go out there and play baseball. We've got 13 more games left. We've got to try to win all of them to get to where we want to be."