It was announced on Saturday that the MLB suspended Miguel Tejada for multiple positive tests for amphetamines, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

While the ramifications across baseball, which is continually dealing with PED and other drug violations, remain to be seen, the effect that Tejada’s suspension will have on the Royals is also an issue that needs attention. 

The Royals are one of the hottest teams in baseball as of late. They’ve put themselves in the playoff hunt, and after Friday’s sweep of a double-header against the Detroit Tigers, they’re just five games out of the Wild Card. 

Tejada had already been placed on the 60-day disabled list for a strained calf prior to the announcement of his suspension, per Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. So the Royals aren’t necessarily losing a player that they have been relying on. 

However, prior to being placed on the DL, Tejada had been hitting .288 this season with 20 RBI in just 156 at-bats. The 39-year old had also been a tremendous leader in the clubhouse for the Royals. 

And perhaps that is what will be missed the most in Kansas City. Tejada’s leadership. 

The former AL MVP has dipped off over the past few years in talent, ut having a guy who’s had a great deal of success was a welcome presence for Kansas City, a team that’s been a doormat in the AL since most people can remember. 

Another effect that Tejada’s suspension could have on the team is that of distraction. All the attention surround Kansas City in the previous weeks has been positive considering the team’s midseason turnaround. 

But now, at least for the next few days, the focus will be shifted from how the team is playing on the field to how one of its players has been acting off it. The Royals are in the middle of a push to grab that second wild card spot. They’re also in the middle of a five-game series against Detroit, a series they almost have to leave as winners of. 

If the team lets this issue distract them from playing well on the field, then the Royals’ recent success could all be for naught. 

To replace Tejada on the roster following his placement on the DL, the Royals went out and acquired Jamey Carroll from the Twins and Emilio Bonifacio from the Blue Jays. Both those veterans will have to step up in leadership roles if this team wants to stay focused and energized for the rest of the season. 

Guys like Billy Butler and James Shields will also have to step up in the clubhouse and make sure this team stays zoned in on the now realistic goal of making the playoffs. 

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