Results tagged ‘ Pittsburgh Pirates ’

Jose Tabata’s Statement


Below is the statement issued in Spanish by Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Jose Tabata concerning his wife kidnapping of an infant in Plant City earlier this week. The statement was given by Tabata outside of Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida this afternoon. This statement was obtained by the St. Petersburg Times reporter  Alexandra Zayas. I am reprinting the article for the’s community. 
On Monday, Tabata had told his team he was excited to meet his baby daughter for the first time, said general manager Neal Huntington. His wife had shown people pictures of the baby.
This was the rest of his statement:
“I was completely surprised when I was told that my wife had been arrested this Tuesday because she had never shown any malicious behavior. I had no idea what to think because this news was one of the hardest blows I have had in my life and I don’t have many words that can effectively communicate all of my feelings at this time,” Tabata said in his statement.

“What I do know is that I am a Pittsburgh Pirate and my lifelong idol is Roberto Clemente. And because of that, when presented with this difficult situation, I asked myself, ‘What would Clemente do in this situation?’ I know Clemente was a man known for his decency, responsibility, doing what he says and always doing the correct thing. And I believe that the only correct thing in this moment is to tell the truth.

“As you and Pirate fans get to know me, you’ll understand that, when this is all over, I will never be able to forgive her for her cruel actions. You will also understand that I will do everything possible, with the support of God and my family here with the Pirates, to overcome this craziness. The truth is that I would never wish this situation on anybody, but I know that life has its good and its bad, and I know that the good times are not too far off in the future.

“With respect to my wife’s case, I, like you, have questions that remained unanswered. However, the sheriff’s deputies have told me not to speak about the details of her criminal case, including the details of our history together and the lies she led me to believe about her. Therefore, I will not be able to comment further or answer any of your questions until the investigation is complete. I do give thanks to God that no harm was made to that baby girl and that she is in safe hands with her parents. My thoughts will always be with them. 

Finally, I am thankful for the strong support of my teammates, coaches and everyone within the Pirates organization during this difficult time. I appreciate everyone’s concern for me and I ask that you will respect my privacy both now and in the future.”

In an added note to the story:

Meanwhile, a woman in North Tampa feels like the abduction would have been prevented if sheriff’s deputies had listened to her after she tried to report a similar run-in with Pereira just last month. The circumstances are eerily similar to the Plant City abduction. Taina Lopez, a young mother, was outside a health clinic with her two-month-old baby daughter when Pereira, an old acquaintance, approached her, telling her a story.

Lopez, unlike the Plant City mother, didn’t give up the baby. Instead, she went straight to the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office. Spokeswoman Debbie Carter said no report was ever filed but that a front desk deputy vaguely remembered her. “She said she knew the woman. There was no crime. They went their separate ways and that was the end.” Lopez says her sister later spoke to Pereira, who told her she was trying to steal the young mother’s car, because someone was offering her $10,000 for it.
Lopez says she is furious that authorities dismissed her. Now, they want to hear what she has to say.
Photo credit : (Atoyia Dean)

Pirate Prospect’s Wife Held for Kidnapping




UPDATE: ( 6:41 pm)

Pittsburgh Pirate prospect Jose Tabata spoke for the first time to reporters late this afternoon and told them that his wife had told him recently that she was pregnant. Tabata told the St. Petersburg Times through a translator: ” The truth is that my wife had told me many lies that, until this whole situation began, I did not know.  One that hurt me alot was her history as a criminal, that she has spent years in prison, that she had robbed and committed fraud.  But the worst lie was that she completely falsified her pregnancy, and the eventual birth of the baby girl, which would have made me a father for the first time. Imagine how that makes me fell.”

A Pittsburgh Pirate prospect wife has been charged with abducting a 2-year old baby from his parents earlier this week.  As Hillsborough County authorities continue to search for answers as to why a baseball player’s wife allegedly abducted a 2-month-old baby that turned up in Manatee, sheriff’s officials here have begun wrapping up their role in the investigation. Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jose Tabata is not involved in any wrongdoing in a bizarre case in which his much-older wife is charged with abducting a 2-month-old baby girl from a Florida couple, police told the team. Tabata, a 20-year-old outfielder who is one of the Pirates’ top minor leaguers, said in a statement Wednesday that he is “hurt, frustrated, and confused” that his 43-year-old wife, Amalia Tabata Pereira, is accused of taking the girl from a woman at a health clinic in Plant City, east of Tampa, on Monday night.


The infant, Sandra Cruz-Francisco, was taken from her mother, Rosa Sirilo-Francisco, about 3 p.m. Monday by a woman her family only knew as “Janet,” according to police in Plant City, about 60 miles from Bradenton. The mother had taken her baby for a checkup at the Plant City Health Department, where she met Janet, who said she was an immigration official. The woman told Sirilo-Francisco there were officers at her home waiting to deport her and the child’s father to Mexico. She was arrested after handing over the girl to authorities in a Bradenton shopping center parking lot, less than 24 hours after the infant was taken.  After an Amber Alert was issued, Manatee sheriff’s deputies got an anonymous 911 call, then found her with the girl in the parking lot of a strip mall off 60th Avenue West in Bradenton, near Manatee Community College.


She was arrested on a false imprisonment warrant out of Hillsborough, then taken to the Manatee County jail. According to jail records, she has also been arrested on charges of impersonating a public officer and interference with custody. Authorities have not announced if the baby’s parents are U.S. citizens, but they say Tabata is originally from Puerto Rico and is an American citizen. Her husband is from Venezuela and is here on a visa,  according to a Manatee county sheriff official. The two met in Tampa when Jose Tabata was a minor league player in the New York Yankees organization.They married in January 2008 when he was age 19 and she was age 41, at an Amscot in the city of Tampa.

According to her arrest report, the couple lives in an apartment in the 3400 block of 59th Avenue West, near where the baby was found. The report also lists a Tampa area telephone number. It was disconnected Thursday. In 2003, Tabata was released from prison after serving more than two years for arson and theft, according to information from the Department of Corrections. In September 1999 she staged a robbery at Paycheck Advance, the loan company where she worked in Temple Terrace, said Temple Terrace Police Department spokesman Mike Dunn. He said Tabata acted as a lookout while an accomplice, Sammy Bush, set files on fire. When an officer arrived, she gestured as if someone was holding a gun to her head. No suspect was located. She pretended to be a crime victim for months, then eventually broke down and admitted to stealing $20,000 from her employer by creating dummy accounts and by selling cars without the owners’ consent.


Tabata was considered one of the New York Yankees’ top prospects last year, only to walk out of a game involving their Double-A Trenton farm club early last season. Tabata apparently was frustrated by his slow start. The incident partly led to the Yankees including Tabata in the July trade in which the Pirates dealt outfielder Xavier Nady and left-hander Damaso Marte to New York for Tabata and right-handers Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen. After the trade, Tabata hit .348 in 22 games with Altoona – or 100 points higher than he hit in 79 games for Trenton – and had three homers and 13 RBIs in 89 at-bats. Tabata, a native of Venezuela, also impressed the Pirates this spring with his line-drive power, throwing arm and ability to learn quickly.

Upon making the trade, the Pirates apparently were unaware that Tabata was married to a woman more than twice his age who, according to the St. Petersburg Times, spent more than two years in a state prison about 10 years ago for an arson case. Family members told the newspaper that Pereira, a native of Puerto Rico, has four children of her own, all of them teenagers or older. The woman apparently has used at least four names in the past, and the name given to police does not match the one – Mayita – in the Pirates’ media guide.

Photo credits:    1)
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