Miggi makes impressive return to Camden Yards

Tejada has a 2-run homer, 4 RBIs

April 10, 2010|By Dan Connolly | dan.connolly@baltsun.com

When Miguel Tejada made his Orioles debut at Camden Yards in 2004, he homered and drove in five runs as his new club beat the Boston Red Sox, 7-2.

Six years later, Tejada is no longer the superstar who took over this town and raised expectations for a struggling franchise, but he still thrives in the spotlight.

In "Miggi Mania: The Sequel," playing Friday at Camden Yards, Tejada made a triumphant return, collecting three hits, including a two-run home run, and driving in four runs in the club's 7-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

"It's really an honor to hear the fans cheer for me. And I think, to me, to come back this year to this team is really special," said Tejada, who was traded to the Houston Astros in 2007 and re-signed in January as a free agent. "I am going to try to have the best season I can have for the fans."

When Tejada's name was announced during pre-game introductions, there were plenty of cheers and a smattering of boos as he trotted down the orange carpet in center field.

"When I ran onto the field, I wasn't really worried if they boo me or they cheer me," Tejada said. "I think I heard a lot of people cheering."

Tejada, then a shortstop, took Baltimore by storm in 2004 with his energy and ability.

But as his Orioles career continued, controversies swirled around him, he asked for a trade and his enthusiasm waned. He was dealt to Houston on Dec. 12, 2007 - the day before he was named in the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs.

That seems like ages ago.

This is a different, more understated Tejada, one who is glad to be a piece on this team, and not a savior.

"He is realistic in knowing that his day has been there before and he is trying to clear the way to make it better for the people coming behind him, and he appreciates that," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "I think he should be received here with open arms. He has done a lot for the game, and he has been very good as an Oriole."

After Friday's game, Tejada said he thought about his Orioles debut in 2004 and the similarities between the two.

"It compares really nice," he said. "It's almost the same because the first time I came here, they cheered for me. And today it was the same feeling. The love is still up there."

Tejada's four-RBI effort was his first since July 28, when he drove in five runs. His last as an Oriole came Aug. 9, 2007. Since rejoining the Orioles as a third baseman, Tejada is 4-for-10 with five RBIs with men on base.

"When I came off the field for my first at-bat, I put in my mind, 'I have got to do something,' " Tejada said. "And that's not only today. For me, it is going to be every day. It doesn't matter if there [are] 10 people coming tomorrow, I am going to be playing hard. Because like I always say, this city deserves a competing team because they are always behind us."

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.