It was no laughing matter when the Cleveland Indians pitcher that we knew as Fausto Carmona was caught earlier this year on identity theft charges in the Dominican Republic. It turns out that the 28 year old Carmona was actually 31 year old Roberto Hernandez.
Following his arrest, confession, suspension and the restructuring of a contract that cost the pitcher millions of dollars, Hernandez made his return to the Indians club house on Sunday. His teammates turned what might have otherwise been an awkward moment into a humorous one by welcoming him with three birthday cakes. One was for 29 year old Fausto, another for 30 year old Fausto, and finally one for 31 year old Roberto.
While presumably grateful for their lighthearted take on the serious issue, Hernandez made a point of apologizing to his teammates.
I want to say I’m sorry. I thank God I am here and have been given a new chance.
Hernandez will remain suspended by Major League Baseball until August 11th, but in the meantime, the pitcher will begin a minor league rehab assignment later this week.