Fernando Tatis Jr Jun 24, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) walks to the dugout after striking out against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

There’s something in the air when it comes to Fernando Tatís Jr. and ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball crew.

After being slighted by Eduardo Pérez earlier in the season, ESPN thought it would be a good idea to mic up Tatís for Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. But that wound up being awkward in every sense of the word. 

And that was before Pérez could make some odd comments about the 24-year-old superstar, again. Pérez weirdly pointed out that the Padres had taken away “toys” from Tatís, referring to the leadoff spot and shortstop. But Tatís is a much better fielder in the outfield than he was at shortstop, where his .951 fielding percentage ranked last among the 13 NL shortstops who played at least 1,500 innings at the position from 2019 to ‘21. He’s also hitting second, which last time we checked, comes right after the leadoff spot in the order.

You would think conversing with Tatís would come with some instructions at this point. Instead, play-by-play voice Karl Ravech asked Tatís if he had seen the 2004 movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. It’s a cult classic, but Tatís was also five years old when the movie premiered. 

In the movie, actor Will Ferrell, who plays Ron Burgundy, is a famous anchor for a local San Diego television station, the fictional Channel 4. It’s definitely a movie worth checking out—if you haven’t already–but presenting in that context to Tatís just feels strange.

Tatís appeared confused by the question, asked Ravech to repeat himself and then seemingly had no idea what he was being asked. Once Ravech described the film, Tatís gave him an answer like he knew exactly what was now being presented to him. Maybe the lightbulb did go off, he had more pressing matters to focus on, like you know the game being played, but it appears more likely that he answered that way to appease Ravech.

The awkward laugh from Tatís kind of summed up the whole ordeal. If it was painful to get through those 24 seconds for us, imagine how it was for Tatís. ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Crew just can’t seem to help itself. It’s a fair question, sure, but a weird one at that. We’re not gonna sit here and critique Ravech, Pérez and David Cone, but at some point, they need to do a better job of reading the room.

[Talking Friars on Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.