January 17, 2010
Not as a guy flagged for using performance-enhancing drugs. Not as a guy who lied about it to Congress.
He can't take those things back. They're on the record.
Instead, I choose to remember first what Tejada is doing right now in Haiti.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Tejada arrived in Haiti on Sunday, intent on doing whatever possible to help people he calls "brothers."
Tejada told MSNBC he was bringing water, food and — most of all — himself in response to an earthquake that's killing an untold amount and has plunged an entire country into chaos.
"I was in the States when it happened," Tejada said. "They came to my heart and I'm really sorry for what has happened. That's why I came here, to bring some support for the people here."
Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic and French-speaking Haiti share a border on the island of Hispaniola. The countries have different cultures, histories and economies, but the differences don't stop Tejada from helping. Below is video of the entire interview:
Tejada isn't simply sending money — which is necessary and wonderful — but he's going there, into a hell on Earth. It's not his country, but it's his neighbor, and he cares. This is the kind of person Tejada is.
"It's really sad when you see people in Haiti ... they're like brothers to us," Tejada said. "I have four people from Haiti working in my house — and they're beautiful people. They are great people. Like I said, that's why I came here. I think everybody in the Dominican is trying to do the best they can."
Tejada, currently a free agent, took big hits to his personal life and reputation the past two offseasons. His brother died in a motorcycle accident in 2008. Then a year ago this February, Tejada pleaded guilty on a misdemeanor charge of lying to Congress during its steroid probe of 2005.
What's done is done. What Tejada does now is what matters. And what he's doing is awesome.