There's a lot more uncertainty in Miguel Tejada's life now than there was when he was the subject of this portrait five years ago. He is no longer a threat to hit 20 home runs, much less 30, and hasn't driven in more than 100 runs since his excellent 2004 season. His defense at shortstop has slipped to the point that he will likely have to shift to third base to keep his career going. Of course, the Catch-22 is that his dwindling offensive numbers will look even less significant when compared to the competition at the hot corner. So it is that the 35-year-old, who has dealt with off-the-field revelations about his age (he was previously assumed to be two years younger) and performance-enhancing drug use (he was implicated in the Mitchell Report early in 2008), remains an unsigned free agent with a month left before spring training begins.
But rather than pouting about a lack of strong contract offers, Miggy seems to have focused on helping those whose problems are much greater than his. Yesterday, the former O's shortstop rode aboard a helicopter to Haiti to personally deliver emergency water, food, and other supplies to the impoverished victims of last week's major earthquake. Tejada is a native of the neighboring Dominican Republic, and employs four Haitians at his home. He said that the people of Haiti are his "brothers" and that he wants to bring them support. It would have been easy to write a check and not to have given this dire situation another thought, but the 2002 American League MVP gave his money and his time. He traveled to a place that most of us are probably thanking our lucky stars that we'll never have to see in person. I'm more than happy to call more attention to his good deed, rather than spend more time drudging up outrage over comparatively insubstantial matters like Hall of Fame voting.