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I believe what we have here is a failure to communicate.

In a story in today's Washington Post about trade possibilities involving Miguel Tejada (more on that in a moment), the writer suggested a link between Tejada and the Jason Grimsley affidavit. Um, what?

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For those of you who just crawled out of a hole or have been watching nothing but World Cup soccer for the past three weeks, the Grimsley affidavit is the much-discussed document that includes the names of 10 major league players, past and present, who are linked to the use of human growth hormone or other performance-enhancing drugs. David Segui is one of them. The article suggested that Tejada is another. But is he?

ESPN's Mike Greenberg and Buster Olney were all over this story this morning, and rightly so. When a former MVP is linked to performance-enhancing drugs, that's a big deal. Only the story didn't mention Tejada's supposed link to the investigation until the 12th paragraph.

Here is the paragraph, as it appeared in the print edition of the Post today:

  • Several team sources said they have noticed Tejada sulking some of late, perhaps stemming from his name being linked to the investigation into an affidavit from former Oriole Jason Grimsley, which appears to link several of his ex-teammates to the use of amphetamines and perhaps other substances. (The names in the affidavit have been redacted.) Since it became public on June 7, Tejada is hitting just .236 (17 for 72).

In later editions of the story, however, the Post softened its wording in the story and issued a correction, which now appears at the top of the article.

Here is the paragraph as it now reads online:

  • Several team sources said they have noticed Tejada sulking some of late, coinciding with the investigation into an affidavit from former Oriole Jason Grimsley, which appears to link several of his ex-teammates to at least the use of amphetamines and perhaps other substances. (The names in the affidavit have been redacted.) Since it became public on June 7, Tejada is hitting just .236 (17 for 72).

It's an important clarification. I think we can all agree that "coinciding with" and "perhaps stemming from his name being linked to" are hardly synonymous. So which is it? Could it be both? I reckon we'll find out soon enough.

What didn't change is the part about Tejada batting .236 over his past 72 at-bats, and this much is clear (no pun intended, I swear) –- Tejada has not been himself lately. His average has dropped from .338 on June 7 to .312 before today's game, the lowest it's been since the first week of the season. The shortstop has two home runs in 24 games this month.

Also, this article raises some troubling issues. Not only is Tejada slumping, but he's also apparently sulking. And, the article says, his late arrivals on game day, however occasional, have become something of a concern.

Which brings us back to speculation about the Orioles trading their franchise player, something the O's swear they won't do, or probably won't do, or won't do unless the right offer comes along, depending on who you listen to.

The Angels, desperate for a big bat, have been the team most often linked to Tejada in trade rumors and are also targeting Florida's Miguel Cabrera, Washington's Alfonso Soriano and Milwaukee's Carlos Lee, among others.

According to an article in the L.A. Times, a package for Cabrera would likely include young pitchers Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver, as well as top infield prospects Brandon Wood and Erick Aybar.

Sounds like a lot to me, but -- and I'm speculating here -- if the Orioles can get anything close to that price for Tejada, they should do it in half a heartbeat. Santana, 23, has already established himself as a capable major league pitcher, Weaver, 23, was headed in that direction before his inexplicable demotion earlier this month, and Wood, 21, turned heads with 43 home runs at Single-A last season.

For now, though, the Orioles are doing their best to downplay the Tejada trade chatter.

On to this week, which begins with a three-game visit from the slumping Philadelphia Phillies (weather permitting). The Phillies have lost 13 of 16 games and got more bad news today when their best starting pitcher, Brett Myers, was granted a leave of absence from the team until the All-Star break. Myers was arrested last week on charges of domestic assault and battery after allegedly hitting his wife on a Boston street. Ryan Madson will start in his place Thursday.

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Looking ahead, Russ Ortiz, the newest member of the Orioles, should make his O's debut Friday or Saturday against his former team, the Atlanta Braves. More on Ortiz later in the week.

This week's matchups:

  • Today - Phillies (Cole Hamels-L) at O's (Bedard-L), 7:05 p.m.
  • Wednesday - Phillies (Scott Mathieson-R) at O's (Benson-R), 7:05 p.m.
  • Thursday - Phillies (Ryan Madson-R)at O's (R. Lopez-R), 7:05 p.m.
  • Friday - Braves (Lance Cormier-R) at O's (Russ Ortiz-R), 7:35 p.m.
  • Saturday - Braves (Chuck James-L) at O's (Cabrera-R), 7:05 p.m.
  • Sunday - Braves (Tim Hudson-R) at O's (Bedard), 1:05 p.m.
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