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.
Major League Baseball has approved the $4.5 million contract of Texas Rangers prospect Jairo Beras, but suspended the Dominican teenager a year for providing a false date of birth when registering with MLB as a prospect.
The investigation over his age began in February when the Rangers signed Beras, whom the club maintained was 17. Had Beras been 16 years old, he would have been ineligible to sign until July 2, when the international signing period began, and recieved a far less bonus. According to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, he would have fallen under the cap of $2.9 million.
Initially, Beras had told teams he was 16, thus ineligible. He later produced documents to MLB saying he was 17.
“As we’ve said all along, the contract was signed within the rules with the correct age,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “It does point out that Major League Baseball is placing an increased emphasis on cleaning up this area of our industry, trying to eliminate fraud, which is something that we’re very supportive of and want to be a part of.”
According to MLB, Beras will be permitted to participate in workouts and practices during his suspension, but will not be permitted to participate in official games. Beras will not receive his salary under his Minor League contract for the duration of his suspension.
Earlier this year, Miami Marlins reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) and Cleveland Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona) were caught using false birth certificates and identities.