Tejada, pro athletes bring disappointment
Baseball World Training School's campers were disappointed last Wednesday when Ruben Tejada, an infielder for the New York Mets, didn't show up for his spot as guest instructor at Baseball World last Wednesday. Owner Vince Diaco sent one of his instructors to pick Tejada up at Citi Field, but he didn't show up.
Many youngsters were looking forward to see him, the Connecticut Post and Norwalk Hour sent photographers and Channel 12 stopped by to do a story on it, but it turned out everyone sacrificed their plans in vain. Diaco tried feverishly to find out what happened and New York Mets hitting coach Howard Johnson expressed his dismay towards Tejada for not keeping his commitment.
It turned out Tejada was absent on Wednesday because he overslept and Baseball World rescheduled him to appear on Friday. Unfortunately for Baseball World's campers, history repeated itself on Friday as Tejada was again a no-show and Diaco sent an instructor to Citi Field for nothing.
"It's not good to leave people hanging," Baseball World instructor Dave "Big Daddy" Rogers said. "A phone call would have done. If he didn't want to come, he should have been up front about it instead of agreeing to come and breaking his commitment."
The campers were let down by someone they worship and aspire to be like. Many wore New York Mets clothing and paraphernalia to show allegiance for Tejada and were let down by his absence.
"It's very disappointing that he didn't come on Wednesday and it's even more disappointing that he didn't come on Friday," Diaco said. "Professional athletes -- like it or not -- are role models for kids. If they make a commitment to do something, they should honor their word. A lot of kids were disappointed and upset."
Unfortunately, Tejada isn't the only professional athlete to be a bad role model lately -- in fact, it seems to be part and parcel of the culture of professional sports these days.
Take the Lebron James circus as an example. The way James, the two-time MVP of the NBA, conducted himself before announcing where he was playing next year was narcissistic and down-right tacky. He is the first -- and hopefully the last -- professional athlete to have a one-hour special on TV to announce where he'll play next year. The free agent should have handled his decision in a more professional manner.
As for Tejada, he had a negative impact on many people, and unfortunately there's really no way to make up for the damage he caused.
We hope that Baseball World's campers did learn something from Tejada, though, and that is what it feels like to let someone down. Maybe in the future, this next generation of baseball players will hold up their end of the bargain when they make a commitment to the people who look up to them.