When the Baltimore Orioles signed Miguel Tejada again Tuesday it sent the wrong message to fans of the Orange and Black. Its one thing to bring home a heroic figure to finish his career. But to bring back a steroid abuser who couldn’t get the team out of the cellar in the American League east is the act of a desperate franchise who must be feeling the heat from the other side of the parkway with the Washington Nationals.
If you don’t remember Tejada was one of the many players who tested positive for steroids and was outed by the Mitchell Report and implicated by disgraced slugger Rafael Palmeiro. It was Palmeiro who testified before Congress that he never took steroids “period” before he was outed after collecting his 3,000th hit. In fact, it was Palmeiro who said that it was Tejada who injected him in the buttocks with a syringe that he thought was vitamin B-12 and instead was laced with a steroid. Compunding his act further, he lied to Congress about his role in the scandal.
How desperate must you be as a franchise to not only welcome a player back on the down side of his career, but one who is guilty of breaking federal laws and doesn’t perform up to his contract. This is the dark side of desperation. That’s right, until recently baseball had no laws governing performance enhancers but the laws in the United States did. Anybody who has ever taken a performance enhancer has broken the law period. However, thanks to a powerful labor union the only punitive action that takes place is public embarrassment and media scorn.
But what is most troubling is the blatant disregard for American laws that players from the Dominican Republic have and the way Major League Baseball continues to invest in this felonious platform. Tejada, Sammy Sosa, and Alex Rodriguez have ties to the D.R. and have been implicated in the steriod mess. Considering the Nationals got burned by Smiley Gonzalez, a player who used his counsin’s birth certificate to be signed with a $1 million bonus, that rogish thug mindset of Dominican players is allowed to flourish thanks to MLB.
This is nothing short of condoned criminality and since there are baseball lobbyists all over Capital Hill it won’t change. See what happens if you take the work visa from the player for a year and fine the team though.
Felonious behavior in sports these days has been defined solely by African American players carrying guns, making it rain in night clubs, or domestic violence. However, securing these annobolic steriods or the human growth hormone (HGH) is just as felonious as anything that Gilbert Arenas has plead guilty to and those athletes should be scrutinized just as harsh by the judicial system and the court of public opinion.
As far as the Orioles and Tejada are concerned, there is not anything noble about his return. The organization was notorious for the number of players who abused steroids at the height of the scandal. From Brady Anderson to David Segui to Brian Roberts to Jerry Hairston to Gary Matthews, Jr. to Palmeiro and Tejada, that clubhouse was dirty and they couldn’t get out of last place. Unfortunately, the stench remains.
Welcome to the next generation of “The Oriole Way”.