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As Tejada arrives in camp, ex-MVP not talking about steroids allegations

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by superden, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. superden

    superden Contributing Member

    Jun 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Miguel Tejada said he's been advised by attorneys not to comment on the Mitchell report or an FBI investigation looking into his alleged link to steroids.

    "I can't really talk about that situation," Tejada said Tuesday morning upon arriving for spring training with the Houston Astros. "Right now, I just want to talk about baseball, because that's really my focus."

    The Astros acquired the four-time All-Star shortstop from Baltimore on Dec. 12, the day before the Mitchell report was released.

    In the report, Adam Piatt claimed he gave steroids to Tejada in 2003, when the two were teammates in Oakland. The report included checks Tejada wrote to Piatt to allegedly pay for steroids. The report said Tejada refused to meet with Mitchell's investigators.

    Asked if he could answer the allegations in the report, Tejada said, "No, I can't. Not at all."

    A month after the report was released, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Tejada lied in an August 2005 interview about the perjury case of Rafael Palmeiro, his former teammate.

    Palmeiro was suspended for a positive steroid test and suggested that Tejada provided him with a tainted shot of vitamin B12. Tejada denied the claim to federal authorities. He also told them that he never took performance enhancers and had no knowledge of other players using or talking about steroids.

    The FBI has launched an inquiry and Tejada could get jail time if found guilty.

    "I can't really talk about that. It's not my position to talk about that," Tejada said. "Right now, my mind is really focused on just playing baseball."

    Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP, would not say if he had been contacted by the FBI.

    "I'm not worried about anything," Tejada said. "Right now, I just want to get my uniform, just go out there and work hard."

    The day the House committee asked the Justice Department to open its investigation, Tejada's older brother died in a motorcycle accident. He played in the Caribbean World Series before arriving in Florida late last week.

    "The only thing I can say is, the last couple of months, I've spent a lot of time with my family," he said.

    Tejada hit .296 with 18 homers and 81 RBIs in 2007. He's an offensive upgrade from previous shortstop Adam Everett, who batted .232 last season and was signed by Minnesota after Houston didn't pick up his contract.

    The Astros stand by the acquisition of Tejada, despite the steroid allegations now hanging over him.

    "I still think it was the right decision," owner Drayton McLane said.

    Tejada arrived at camp at 7 a.m. Tuesday, the day all position players were due to report. He left the complex within five minutes to go to take a physical at another location.

    As media gathered around his locker, Tejada shook hands with his new teammates, chatting with the ones who spoke Spanish.

    He was going to sit down with manager Cecil Cooper and general manager Ed Wade before his first workout. Cooper said he wasn't going to bring up the steroid allegations in their first meeting.

    "We'll talk about baseball things," Cooper said. "That's all I care about. That's all we should all be focused on at this point in time."

    Cooper wasn't concerned about how Tejada would be perceived in the clubhouse.

    "From what I hear, Miguel is a terrific guy," Cooper said. "I'm sure his teammates are going to hook onto him and they're going to get along well. If there's a problem in there, I'll deal with it. But there won't be a problem."

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press


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