I guess the whole Caribbean-South American age lying thing has reared it's ugly head again -- this time with former Oriole Miguel Tejada.
One would not think two years in age difference is a lot of difference; however, in the game of baseball, it very much is. Two years in terms of development is crucial when a kid is coming up, advancement, attention given, skill set, and more importantly -- money invested.
Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada has told the team he's actually 33, two years older than he's listed in the club's media guide and other baseball records.
Tejada, saying he wanted rid himself of a burden, approached general manager Ed Wade and asked to correct misinformation he gave the Oakland A's when he signed in 1993, the Houston Chronicle reported on its Web site Thursday.
Team officials were not immediately available to comment to the Associated Press. The Astros were wrapping up a three-game series Thursday with the Phillies in Philadelphia.
Tejada was actually 19 when he signed out of poverty-stricken Bani, Dominican Republic. At the time, he says, a local coach encouraged him to say he was 17.
"I'm a poor kid that wanted to sign," Tejada said on the Chronicle site. "I'm feeling free now. It's something that I had in my mind."
The former American League MVP was signed out of the Dominican Republic by Hall of Famer Juan Marichal, but he was clear Marichal had no part in the deception. Moreover, Wade and Tejada both said the shortstop's green card, driver's license and other legal papers in the United States reflect his actual birthday, May 25, 1974.
The Astros' media guide lists his birthday as May 25, 1976.
I'm not surprised; however, when you hear something like this -- you always are. You'd think especially after 9-11 and just the amount of money involved in the sport, there would be more sure-fire ways to confirm the person who you are hiring to do a job is indeed being truthful.
However, one can only understand why Tejada did it -- he did what he had to do get a contract and live out a dream.