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Your Daily Tejada

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Paul Ladewski's column in today's Daily Southtown is all of the following:

  • intriguing
  • maddening
  • thought-provoking
  • filled with conjecture and outright misinformation, and
  • worth reading.
First, he lays out the 16,564th Tejada rumor:
The latest version was a three-team deal that had Prior and pitcher Barry Zito headed to Crabtown, pitcher Erik Bedard bound for the Oakland A's and Miguel Tejada en route to the North Side.

Ladewski says the Cubs should bite, and much as I'd love Tejada, that deal seems a bit one-sided towards Baltimore, yes? Further, it sounds somewhat incomplete, as the Orioles would probably want Ronny Cedeno to take Tejada's place at SS (they really have no other logical options), and if so, the Cubs would surely want a pitching prospect back from either the A's (Jairo Garcia, anyone?) or the Orioles (I'd love Hayden Penn). Or it could be expanded to include any number of Cub minor leaguers.

Then he pulls the old "Latin-Player's-Really-Older-Than-He-Says-He-Is" saw out:

What concerns me most is his age. The Dominican native is listed at 29, but it wouldn't come as a shock to find out he's really 32.

There's absolutely no evidence of this. First of all, as I have written here before, after 9/11 the State Department required all foreign nationals -- including, and one could argue particularly including professional athletes -- to certify their ages. Alfonso Soriano was one of the players who had to add a couple of years to his age. Sammy Sosa (who's been so accused) and Tejada were not. Fact: Tejada was signed by the A's on July 17, 1993, which would have been about two months after he turned 17, given his listed birth date of May 25, 1976.

This is the age at which most Dominican players are signed -- around the time they turn 17. Sosa -- same thing (born: 11/12/1968; signed 7/30/1985). Aramis Ramirez -- ditto (born 6/25/1978, signed 11/7/1994).

This is a canard, and I wish MSM writers would stop bringing it up.

What's most interesting about Ladewski's article is his quote of former major league pitcher Mike Marshall:

"Prior has a pitching motion that is very problematic, no question about it," Dr. Mike Marshall said. "If he doesn't change, he will never reach everything that he should be."

Marshall has some unconventional ideas about pitching that are not universally accepted, and in fact, have been scorned by a lot of major leaguers -- which is why Marshall's been pretty well blacklisted from the majors since he retired as a pitcher in 1981. I'm not sure I buy all his ideas, but they are at least worth considering. Read the rest of the article and you'll at least have to think that trading Prior for Tejada isn't as crazy an idea as many of you think it is.

For as Ladewski correctly states about Prior:

The Next Tom Seaver has become The Next Scott Erickson or The Next Kevin Appier, the pitchers whose statistics are closest to Prior's at similar stages of their careers.

Something to think about, at least.