Miguel Tejada: A Liar in More Than One Way

Joe WillettSenior Writer IApril 17, 2008

The Houston Astros learned something about Miguel Tejada recently.  No, they didn't finally open up a copy of the Mitchell Report.  This is something that Tejada revealed to them stemming back to his rookie season.

“I was a poor kid,” Tejada said. “I wanted to sign a professional contract, and that was the only way to do it. I didn’t want or mean to do anything wrong."

He is talking about when he lied about his age.

Something so important slipped through a major league team and lasted until now.  It was revealed that Tejada is, in fact, 33, not 31 like it says on every website and media guide.

Why is this important, well, first off, the Astros signed a 31-yr-old shortstop that has been accused of steroid use.  It turns out that they actually got a 33-yr-old shortstop that suddenly looks like he has a little less in the tank.

My question is: How does a professional organization let something like this slip?

These teams are given all these resources, scouts, managers, and they don't know somebodies age?

Don't you receive a person's age in the scouting report prior to talking to the person you are going to interview?

It was a major mess-up by the A's.  But this wasn't just a thing that Tejada did and forgot about. 

This was something that he was actually trying to hide because he was ashamed.  He walked into an interview with ESPN expecting to talk about the Astros and what the remainder of the season has to hold.

When asked when he was born, he said 1976, which would make him 31.  Once he was shown a copy of his birth certificate from the Dominican Republic, he walked out of the interview saying, "Right now I just play baseball bro’. I just play baseball, and I don’t have to be here to talk about this.”

Why did he do it?

According to Tejada, he was under the influence of a local coach who said it would be in his best interest to tell the team that he was 17 instead of 19.

The Astros, however, show no intent to punish Tejada for the false information given.

“It was brought to our attention that the date we carry for Tejada, the year of birth, is incorrect,” Ed Wade, Astros GM, said. “We told Miguel we were going to go ahead and make the appropriate changes and all the information was put forward. But the fact of the matter is he’s playing like he was 25.”

I don't agree with anything about this, and everything seems like this sort of thing shouldn't be happening, let alone being just swept under the rug.

When Tejada retires earlier than expected because he doesn't have as much left in the tank as he should have, the Astros will be sorry. They'll want those two years back.

For now, this whole situation remains a head-scratcher.

I'm Joe W.