Miguel Tejada stood at his locker earlier today and made references to mistakes from his past that he hopes have been put behind him. Though he never got specific, he alluded to his name appearing in the Mitchell Report, an age discrepancy, and how he received a year's probation after pleading guilty to lying to congressional investigators about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
Tejada unloaded more than his bags when he arrived here.
"Everybody knows that I've been through a lot of stuff off the field, but it's all behind me now and I feel like I'm going to start a new career," he said. "The last five years I came to spring training with a lot of stuff on my mind. Now my mind is clear. Now I'm just thinking every day what I can do to help this team.
"It's tough. At one point I just said in my mind, 'This is my job and whatever happened off the field, I can't let it affect my game.' And that's why when I get to the field, I just play professionally and play the game hard and don't let that stuff bother me and just play my game.
"Everybody knows that I don't hurt nobody. Whatever happened, happened. After everything is over, I never think that anybody is going to treat me bad because a hundred times, I apologized for what I did. Everybody knows that and everybody knows when I take the field, I respect the game on the field. That's most important."
Tejada said the Orioles are "much better" than the team he left after being traded to Houston.
"Right now, this team has a lot of young guys with talent," he said. "And now it's not just one or two. It's kind of like the whole team. Now we have a young catcher who can be a superstar, we have another kid in left field who can be a superstar, we have a center fielder, Brian, Markakis... I don't know if you remember, but there weren't many guys like that on the field last time when I signed.
"I think we're going to have a fun year. Those kids are exciting, they're happy here and I think we're all together going to have a really good season."