Tejada changes his mind on WBC

Updated: February 27, 2009, 1:21 PM ET
By Enrique Rojas | ESPNdeportes.com

KISSIMMEE, Florida -- A phone call from Felipe Alou is all it took for Miguel Tejada to change his mind and join the Dominican Republic team for next month's World Baseball Classic.

"I had a conversation with Felipe and the issue was solved," Tejada, of the Houston Astros, said from Kissimmee, Fla. "I'll play with the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic."

Previously, Tejada had acknowledged having an issue with the Dominican team's request for the shortstop to play first base during the tournament. The request was a major factor in his decision to decline the invitation to play with the Dominican squad.

"Felipe told me that my role would not be limited to first base, which was the reasoning behind the initial issue," Tejada said. "I thank God because everything is all solved now; I couldn't sleep well since last Tuesday."

The All-Star and former AL MVP is expected to join the team Monday.

"We fully support Miguel's decision to participate in the WBC," Astros general manager Ed Wade said.

Earlier this month, Tejada became the first prominent major leaguer to be convicted of a crime related to the use of performance-enhancing drugs when he admitted lying to congressional investigators about whether he had knowledge of other players using steroids.

Tejada is facing prison time and deportation but is expected to avoid both. He is to be sentenced March 26.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.

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