Tom Farrey was out for blood and it didn’t matter how he got it. He lured Miguel Tejada into an ambush that will air on ESPN’s E:60 program next week.
The objective of Farrey’s interview was to embarrass Tejada with a birth certificate that shows him being two years older than he’s listed in the Houston Astros’ media guide.
Mission Accomplished: Tejada admitted to claiming the wrong birth date when he was a teenager.
“I’m a poor kid that wanted to be a professional big leaguer,” Tejada said as he discussed his reasoning for claiming he was 17 instead of 19 when signing with the Oakland Athletics in 1993. “I was thinking that was the only way that I could help my family.
“It was never because we wanted to do anything wrong,” he continued. “The scout just did it because at that time I was two years older than I (told them). And to play in the Dominican Summer League you’ve got to be like 17.”
So all Farrey and ESPN really did was become the latest to take a shot at Tejada.
He has been an easy target over the last few months for George Mitchell and Henry Waxman and Tom Davis and everyone else on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
He was also an easy target for the Athletics who signed him for next-to-nothing and sent him to their Dominican academy where dozens of players fought for spots because baseball was their only chance at a decent life.
The target remained on Tejada’s back even after he grabbed one of only a handful of opportunities to come to the United States and start at the bottom of the minor leagues. He broke his hand playing for Modesto in the California League and lived in fear that the Athletics would pull his work-visa and send him back to the Dominican Republic.
He survived the fear and the exploitation to become one of Major League Baseball’s best shortstops. He overcame more than Farrey and Mitchell and Waxman and Davis and the whole House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform combined. He is a far better person than all of them, too. But none of that matters when the powerful decide to take you down.
Tejada will remain an easy target because he will always be that guy who grew up in a one-room house in Bani. These people will hold power over him no matter what he does in baseball or how much money he makes. They can take away the game and the wealth and embarrass him on television. They can deport him and maybe even put him jail.
This is what our county and our game have become and we should all be ashamed.