When Miguel Tajada told Congress he didn't know a thing about steroids and PEDs last year, he was as truthful as he appears to be about his age: Not. This could jeopardize Tejada's 13 million dollar Baltimore Oriole payroll scheduled for 2009.
Today Tejada will plead guilty to lying in front of Congress, which is not generally considered a hit. To the Baltimore Sun:
According to a criminal information document filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia yesterday, Tejada provided "misrepresentations" to staffers from the congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Aug. 26, 2005. It was part of the perjury investigation of former Oriole Rafael Palmeiro.
The document in the misdemeanor charge can be filed only with the consent of the defendant, meaning Tejada likely has reached an agreement with prosecutors and subsequently is expected to enter a guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay at 11 a.m. today.
The document filing came one day after Major League Baseball was rocked with another steroid scandal when New York Yankees superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez admitted to ESPN that he took illegal performance enhancers for three years while with the Texas Rangers.
TaStory continues after Tajump...
So MLB players who seemingly treated the press and the public with disdain about PED use (ala Barry Bonds) are beginning to see that certain august legal bodies don't tolerate lying as the public appears to tolerate it.
"It's a definitive signal that he's pleading guilty and likely cooperating," said former Baltimore federal prosecutor Andrew C. White, who is not involved in the case but was making suppositions based on information provided to him.
In such a case, White said, Tejada could have been charged with the felony of lying to Congress, so the lesser misdemeanor suggests the agreement includes an obligation to "cooperate against other persons."
Worse yet, Tejada could be extradited back to his home country, which would obviate playing baseball in the USA.
Tejada's deception is explained this way:
According to information from investigators and included in baseball's Mitchell Report, the government charges that Tejada knew an undisclosed Oakland player had used human growth hormone and steroids and withheld that information.
The federal document alleges Tejada not only conversed with the unnamed Oakland player about steroids, but also gave him two checks on March 21, 2003, in the amounts of $3,100 and $3,200 to purchase hGH.
According to the document, the Oakland player did not know whether Tejada used the hGH. Tejada was not charged in the federal document with using illegal drugs.
Based on information in the Mitchell Report, the player in question is former A's outfielder Adam Piatt, who played with Tejada in Oakland and told the Mitchell investigators that he sold steroids and hGH to Tejada.
A $3,100 check made out to Piatt from Tejada on March 21, 2003, is included in the Mitchell Report, which was released Dec. 13, 2007, the day after Tejada was traded from the Orioles to the Astros for five players.
Piatt told Mitchell investigators he purchased performance-enhancing drugs from Kirk Radomski, the former New York Mets clubhouse attendant at the center of the steroid scandal.
Tejada's testimony in 2005 was in response to former Orioles teammate Palmeiro's testimony that he had failed an MLB random drug test in May 2005 after receiving a vial of liquid vitamin B-12 from Tejada.