Roberto Hernandez reintroduced himself to Cleveland Indians teammates and apologized for deceiving them. The right-hander, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, was contrite and remorseful Sunday as he confessed to the entire organization and its fans that he pretended to be somebody he was not for the past 12 years. Hernandez is serving a three-week suspension for using a false identity and will not be reinstated until August 11.
“I want to say I’m sorry,” Hernandez said through interpreter Charisse Dash. “I thank God I am here and have been given a new chance.”
Hernandez said he was grateful to the organization for supporting him after he was arrested in the Dominican Republic in January outside the U.S. consulate as he tried to renew his visa. That’s when it was discovered his name was Hernandez and he is 31 years old, three years older than listed.
The former All-Star revealed that the real Carmona is actually a “distant cousin,” but that it was Hernandez who hatched the plan to take his name and claim he was only 17 when he signed with the Indians in 2000. He declined to discuss details. ”I want to forget the past,” he said. “I want to work hard and help my team on the field.”
Hernandez got his old locker in the clubhouse and laughed when he looked up and saw, “No Name.” His teammates also gave him three birthday cakes, one for each birthday he missed.