Tagged: Miguel Tejada

A springtime full of questions

jDbGX8bS.jpgWelcome once again to a new season with your Houston Astros. As always, we’ll try to give you information and notes in a different way. There’s one thing which I’m really glad about, and is that I won’t be holding the fort all by myself this time: Besides good friends such as Thomas, Bernardo and other bloggers, we are joined by people who are known by all of you: Alyson Footer, someone who really knows her Astros, and the voice of the Houston Astros in Spanish himself, my good friend Francisco Romero.

So there’ll be a little bit something for everyone this time around.

We saw Roy Oswalt last night in a game which became so painful for us, in which Venezuela was mercilessly pounded by the US offense. Roy O proved himself why he is one of the premiere starters in baseball, and that’s what matters most. He won’t return to Kissimmee just yet; in the meantime Carlos Lee is taking the plane back to Florida after his team Panama’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic.

This is been a Spring Training quite interesting to see. And a hard one as well. We know there isn’t anything more worthless than Grapefruit League scores, but it’s true that it would be so much nicer to see a win every now and then at Osceola County Stadium.

I’m sure Cecil Cooper will try to energize the troops back again to see if bats start swinging the right way and things change a bit. But we know that’s not the main goal.

It’s all about breaking down performances and seeing which players will survive all cuts and stay in the 40-man roster. It’s time to see if prospects (which there are plenty to see) can stay or they could be well-kept in the Minors for a September callup. That’s a positive effect of Tejada, Lee and Oswalt being absent for the WBC if you ask me.

Are there reasons to panic yet? Not quite. Most especially if your main players are somewhere else. But it’s true that, despite we know that is not what it’s all about, a win every now and then would make this spring a bit more joyful.

OK. Tejada fudged his age. So what?

The news is already making the rounds on MLB.com, Chron.com and even on those emails Roto League owners subscribe to for their breaking news.

Miguel Tejada lied about his age ever since he was signed by the Oakland A’s back in 1993, when he was signed by then scout and current Dominican Sports Minister, Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.

So Tejada wasn’t really born on May 25, 1976, as originally stated even on the Astros media guide, but two years before, in 1974. That means Tejada will turn 34 next month.

Has Tejada something to be ashamed of? Not really. It’s true that he wasn’t a hundred percent truthful when he turned in his data, and it’s totally true that he is not the first nor will be the last Latin ballplayer to do something like that.

José de Jesús Ortiz just stated in his blog something I will have to repeat. You have to go to our countries, see the poverty and misery these kids grow up with. They play with balls made of cardboard and duct tape, and hit it with broomsticks turned into bats. As a matter of fact, Tejada’s story is quite well documented and you can look it up.

You try to picture yourself with that choice, of a ticket on your way out of that misery and few opportunities, and into a life of glory and economical stability. Then you’ll realize fudging about your age is not such a bad thing after all. Our Latin baseball history is full of similar cases. Even cases of players who were thought of being born on a different month just because in the Spanish Language when stating a date the structure is of day/month/year, instead of month/day/year as used in the English language.

Tejada himself would have been the one confessing the truth to Houston GM Ed Wade, when he realized a new era was about to start with the Astros, and we can only applaud him for that. I don’t want to sound like singing Tejada’s praises one note too many, but if there’s a baseball player loved in the Dominican Republic because of his actions, is precisely the shortstop born in Baní. He has turned the blessings he has received through baseball into huge sums of charity work. He has never stopped playing in his country. He has not forgotten his humble beginnings.

So don’t think Tejada is looking for your compassion by excusing his age fudging with his story of poverty. Because it’s the whole truth. And there’s nothing else to it.

PS: Wow. Wikipedia is fast.

Welcome home

r1901214050.jpgWe’ve heard a lot about the Astros’ initial woes. That’s our topic for a feature at astrosdehouston.com, the official Spanish-language website of your Houston Astros. For those of you already swearing to tune in to Grey’s Anatomy or whatever else is on TV, I have a message for you:

Don’t panic yet. There’s a very long way to go.

In fact, this isn’t the Houston team that was destined for the cellars last year; not even the 2005 team which rode all the way to the World Series, with pitching so good they could bear a lack of hitting so bad I wouldn’t even want to think about it again. And they were NL champs with that.

You can see all Astros starters have had at least very decent outings. Some even could be considered brilliant. That was the case tonight. Wandy Rodriguez was again at home, and you could feel it. Heck, he has even pitched great on the road.

7.1 solid innings, and he had his teammates’ support to back him up this time. Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and J.R. Towles went yard. All Astros runs were scored courtesy of the good old homerun.

Jose Valverde’s missteps were erased with a Miguel Tejada walkoff homer. Yes, you read that right. The Dominican-born player couldn’t have dreamt with a better welcome to Minute Maid Park, turning the tables for good against the Cardinals.

Fans can’t say they didn’t get their money’s worth tonight. It was a very entertaining ballgame to watch, defined in the most dramatic way possible. They have not won the World Series, very far from it. They’re celebrating their season is starting to show different shades and colors, instead of gray.