Baltimore Orioles bullpen catcher Elrod Hendricks said the reason Miguel Tejada has appeared so distraught at times this year was because of a rift between the shortstop and outfielder Sammy Sosa.
"It just ruins everything for everyone because he just wasn't himself," Hendricks said of Tejada. "We wondered what it was and then we found out."
Hendricks said the two stopped talking several months ago after it became apparent that the Orioles were Tejada's team and not Sosa's. Prior to the Orioles making the trade for Sosa, executives consulted Tejada, who had no problem acquiring the outfielder.
"He took it hard not hitting and not playing and then being demoted," Hendricks said of Sosa. "The guy that got him here [Tejada] is having a hell of a year, he's having fun and everybody loves him. All of sudden he's [Sosa] second fiddle and he's not used to that. And that is tough. He came into a very awkward situation here. There were some problems. They just stopped talking."
Tejada denied any problem with Sosa and said no problem would exist if the outfielder came back next season.
"He and I were fine," Tejada said. "I'm never going to have a problem with Sosa. As a Dominican, he's a symbol of our baseball."
One teammate said while he never saw the two feud, he also never saw them have much of a friendly relationship.
"Sammy always spoke very highly of Miguel," Sosa's agent Adam Katz said. "I'm unaware of any rift."
Orioles Executive Vice President Jim Beattie said he did not know of any problems between the players and denied a feud was the reason Sosa was sent home to rehabilitate in Miami.