I'll lead this off by stating that I really respect the sincerity that came across in Tejada's apology. This wasn't a press conference for him to make an excuse about the culture, the pressure to live up to contracts, etc. It was him letting everyone know that he realizes he made a huge mistake and that understands that this mistake doesn't just bare consequences for him, but to the fans, the team, the league, and—what I found particularly touching—the country. Maybe it's some misguided American exceptionalism or patriotism in me, but I was impressed that he apologized to Congress. While I, like everyone I'm sure, would rather not hear apologies after the heat is on, at least this apology wasn't the same canned rhetoric or of pressure, culture, and ignorance.
Ok, enough of my moralizing, or whatever that just was.
Some good news from his lawyer:
The maximum sentence for this misdemeanor offense could be one year in prison, but as Tuohey explained, Tejada's previously clean record should provoke a significantly lighter sentence.
"The federal sentencing guidelines, enacted by Congress some years ago, have a major influence on the sentence that is available and recommended, based on the nature of events," Tuohey said. "In this case ... those guidelines which both sides recommend be followed, call for a sentence which in effect is probation, zero to six [months].
Some interesting revelations about the immigration issue and Tejada's attempt to become an American citizen (which was news to me, but I'm not sure if I just missed that somewhere in the past):
Immigration law is treated separately, and the district court will have no influence over what action, if any, will be taken by immigration authorities.
"We have discussed the matter with immigration authorities," Tuohey said. "We have carefully reviewed the standards for the various elements of immigration. Mr. Tejada will be a very proud citizen of this country before long, and nothing that has happened is going to prevent that. Because of the nature of the offense -- it is considered a petty offense -- it should not have any affect on his immigration status."
So there we go. He pleaded guilty, he apologized, and now he's going to become a US Citizen and we should have a SS all season long.
Now I just hope that once Spring Training starts we can move on and get to baseball.