It must be all the B-12. While Houston SS Miguel Tejada’s solo HR off Philadelphia’s Brett Myers briefly narrowed the gap in a game the hosts would win, 10-2, the former AL MVP deserves considerable credit. How many players have managed to go deep after suddenly aging 2 whole years in one day? From the Houston Chronicle’s Jesus De Jesus Ortiz :
Thursday morning was the first time the four-time All-Star admitted his real age to the world. The Astros™ new shortstop is actually 33, two years older than he is listed in the club™s media guide and other baseball records.
œI’m a poor kid that wanted to be a professional big leaguer,” he explained as he discussed his reasoning for claiming he was 17 instead of 19 to sign with the Oakland A™s in 1993. “I was thinking that was the only way that I could help my family. By the time we did it, it wasn’t because we wanted to do anything wrong to be a professional.
œThe scout just did it just because at that time I was two years older than I (told them). And to play in the Dominican Summer League you got to be like 17. That’s why he changed the year. Because the only change is the year.”
The revelation was surprising, considering how much attention Tejada has garnered since he reached the majors in 1997 with the Oakland A™s. A book, Away Games, was written about his amazing journey out of poverty in his native, Bani, Dominican Republic. The scrutiny on him also picked up when he was mentioned in the Mitchell Report on Dec. 13, a day after the Astros got him.
By January, the FBI had taken the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee™s recommendation and started an investigation whether he lied to federal investigators in 2005. Throughout the subsequent scrutiny, a significant part of his life still had not been revealed until a few hours before the Astros played the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
“The reason I said it now is that I’m coming to a new team and they wanted all my information,” said Tejada, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles on Dec. 12 in exchange for five players. œThey wanted all my information. That’s why I don’t want to lie to them. I tell them the truth.”
ESPN’s Rob Neyer is amongst those wondering why these revelations took so long to emerge
This information was on his driver’s license, and his green card? Suspicions about Tejada’s age have been floating around for at least five or six years. My assumption is that such documents are either a part of the public record, or if not are accessible for an enterprising investigative reporter.
That said, I’m told that reporters have checked into Tejada’s age in the past and weren’t able to find the truth. I’m also told that in the Dominican Republic a reporter who digs too deep takes his own life into his hands (which is a story in itself, and I hope someone writes it one of these days).
Hey, me too. And could there be a better excuse for Steve Phillips to make his long awaited debut as an international reporter for ESPN The Magazine?