Royals say they'll truly miss Tejada, but admit he was wrong
Royals players admit they will miss having Miguel Tejada as a teammate but don't condone his actions
By JEFFREY FLANAGAN FS Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If there was agreement on one issue regarding the whole Miguel Tejada saga, it was that his
Royals teammates will miss his leadership skills the rest of the season.
But some Royals also don't want any misunderstandings: What he did was wrong.
Tejada was suspended Saturday for 105 games after testing positive for Adderall, evidently the third time (twice this season) in his career he has tested positive for the prescribed stimulant. Tejada reportedly did have a prescription for the drug and a therapeutic use exemption that expired in April.
"They say some players have the permit, some don't, and I don't know why some don't," left-hander Bruce Chen said. "I don't understand much of it.
"But he accepted the suspension without appeal, so he knew he was wrong."
Does Chen, who also was Tejada's teammate in Baltimore, forgive him?
"I don't know ... because I don't want people to think it's OK to take it when you're not supposed to," Chen said. "You shouldn't."
Second baseman Chris Getz added that all players need to understand and obey the rules.
"He was a great teammate and he did help us," Getz said. "He helped me.
"But you have to abide by the rules. It's not even worth debating whether it's right or wrong or whether he's right or wrong because you have to abide by the rules. It's really that simple."
Tejada, who did not fight the suspension and who already had been on the 60-day disabled list, said in a statement:
"I apologize to my teammates, the Royals organization and to the
Kansas City fans. I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. I took that medication while re-applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Under the requirements of the Joint Drug Program, I made a mistake in doing so."
"He's not a disappointment to anyone in here," Escobar said. "He apologized to the whole team, to all the fans. He said he made a mistake."
Escobar was especially close to Tejada.
"Yeah, I talked to him every day," Escobar said. "He taught me a lot. He explained things to me about the game. He is just a really good guy.
"This doesn't change anything about how I feel about him. He's still the same person we all knew or know. Nothing's changed. He was a great teammate."
Escobar, in fact, remembers following Tejada's career while growing up in Venezuela and idolizing him.
"We all looked up to Miguel and to Omar Vizquel, and to the other Latin guys," he said.
Jarrod Dyson, too, drew close to Tejada, who played in 53 games and hit .288.
"I'll say this: He helped everyone in this clubhouse, from the coaching staff on down," Dyson said. "That's the type of guy he was -- he didn't care what color you were, he was there to help. He was always helping like a coach would. That was great.
"He will be truly missed. That comes straight from the heart."
Dyson wasn't interested in debating whether Tejada was right or wrong for taking Adderall after his exemption expired.
"In that situation, he was prescribed it, so I don't want to get into all the whys and why-nots," Dyson said.
Tejada, though, also has been implicated in the Biogenesis investigation, according to a report by ESPN.
Most of the Royals hadn't heard about that additional development.
"It doesn't matter," Escobar said. "I will always stay away from any of that stuff."
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email at firstname.lastname@example.org