Miguel Tejada Expected to Plead Guilty of Perjury; A-Rod Still a Scapegoat
At ten o'clock this morning, a federal prosecutor and Miguel Tejada will appear in front of a U.S. District Court judge and a six-page criminal information will be entered before the Court. It is expected that, at that time, Tejada will plead guilty to lying before Congress. It is thought that the prosecution will then ask the judge to accept the terms of a plea agreement that has been entered into between Tejada and the Feds. The judge does not have to accept this agreement, but generally, the judges will do as the prosecutor desires.
People have asked me why Miguel Tejada is getting hit with lying before Congress, but Rafael Palmeiro has escaped any criminal punishment for the same act. The answer is rather simple. Rafael Palmeiro was tested for steroid use by major league baseball after he appeared before Congress. As such, Congressional investigators were not able to prove when it was that Palmeiro took steroids. If he took the steroids after appearing before Congress, then he didn't commit perjury.
Tejada's situation is different. Palmeiro stated that Tejada is the one who shot him up with steroids. And the Congressional investigators, seeking to find out the truth about Palmeiro, decided to talk to Miguel Tejada.
The criminal information, tells us the following. During spring training 2003, when Tejada was with the Oakland A's, he discussed steroids and HGH with an unidentified teammate. On March 21, 2003, Miguel Tejada gave two checks to this unidentified player for the purchase of HGH.
Rice University Owls Football vs. Prairie View A&M University Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 22, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. UCF Knights Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 29, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. Florida Atlantic University Owls Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 5, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulane University Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 12, 11:00am
The complaint goes further. Tejada was interviewed by the Congressional committee on August 26, 2005 in Baltimore. And so that Tejada couldn't pull a Sammy Sosa, a Spanish interpreter was present for the discussion. In this discussion, Tejada claimed that he never used illegal performance-enhancing drugs and that he had no knowledge of other players using or talking about steroids or other banned substances.
The Mitchell Report was released on December 13, 2007, and it obtained information that contradicted Tejada's statements about his HGH use, and his knowledge of the use by other players, specifically, the unidentified Oakland A's player. Tejada has thus been charged with "unlawfully, willfully and knowingly" refusing and failing to state "fully and completely the nature and extent of his knowledge of and discussions with other MLB players." As such, he "unlawfully withheld pertinent information."
(By the way, the unidentified Oakland teammate is supposedly Adam Piatt.)
Under the statutes, Tejada could be facing a year in prison for misrepresentations to Congress. But I'm willing to bet that the plea deal will involve little to no jail time. I'm also betting that as part of the deal, Tejada has to spill everything he knows about steroids/HGH in baseball, including player names. And the statute of limitations for lying to Congress is five years. This means that Rafael Palmeiro, who has so far been able to escape any criminal jeopardy for his statements to Congress, may be back in hot water once again.
The Chron reports that Tejada and his agent will be meeting the press this afternoon at four o'clock. And I'm sure then that Tejada will do his best Andy Pettitte impersonation and beg for forgiveness. Forgiveness that Richard Justice is already bestowing. Of course, Justice, being Richard Justice, is only willing to be forgiving of guys who actually played in Houston because he's rather angry with Alex Rodriguez.
Now Alex Rodriguez has never lied under oath. He's never shown any contempt toward the judicial system. Yes, he lied about using steroids. Just like Miguel Tejada. But Rodriguez, who had his rights violated by an illegal government raid, then had them further violated by someone willfully violating a court order to leak Rodriguez's name - and none of the other 103 names on a list of players to fail a steroids test - to Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts, hasn't shown enough contrition for Richard Justice.
Rodriguez, you see, had the nerve to attack Selena Roberts. He accused her of stalking him and his family. And Richard Justice doesn't like this. Though Justice admits that he doesn't know Roberts, he vows that he can attest that her integrity is above reproach. And I'm sure most of you don't know who Selena Roberts is, so you might be willing to go along with Justice on that. It's just that Justice forgets to mention a vital fact about Selena Roberts.
I'm sure that some of you remember the Duke Lacrosse rape case from several years ago, the one where a woman accused members of the Duke Lacrosse team of raping her at a party. Ms. Roberts worked for the New York Times at the time, and she took this story and ran with it. You might remember that she said some vile things about the players. And how she accused the Duke team and college officials of colluding to hinder the investigation. And you might recall that just about everything she wrote about this case proved to be wrong. The Duke Lacrosse team was disbanded, and the lives of the three accused were ruined.
Selena Roberts has never apologized. So Richard Justice might be willing to vouch for her integrity, but I'm sure there are three guys who used to be Duke Lacrosse players who would dispute Justice.
So Alex Rodriguez has shown more contrition that Selena Roberts ever has, and her sins are worse than his. He also, to this point, has shown more contrition than Miguel Tejada. I suppose he could call Richard Justice personally and apologize, but then Justice would probably just call him a phony trying to suck up for approval.
Miguel Tejada is the criminal, not Alex Rodriguez. And it's the rights of Alex Rodriguez that have been violated, not Miguel Tejada. So if anyone deserves forgiveness, it's Alex Rodriguez, not Miguel Tejada.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.