So I saw something last week – for people who say that New York sports fans are harsh, I think they are incredibly tolerant and Exhibit A is Mark Teixeira. Mark Teixeira doesn’t even get booed at Yankee Stadium. Mark Teixeira has become a .230 hitter with an on-base percentage that has eroded every year…never gets booed! In fact, if you criticize Mark Teixeira, I was talking with some baseball guys at Real Sports Bar two weeks ago – all sent me emails after our meet up. “30 home runs, 100+ RBI’s, great defense” If a guy makes $22 million a year, should his best talent be defense?
I can find all sorts of guys in baseball that make a million a year that can play 1st base better than Teixeira. Justin Smoak of Seattle doesn’t make anything! Yet he plays really good defense. There’s that kid in Kansas City who’s really good – he’s cheap. Don’t tell me “Andrew, it’s the Yankees where money doesn’t matter” How much are you paying for that Heineken, how much for those seats in the first 5 rows at Yankee Stadium? I’ve got news for you, somebody is paying for Mark Teixeira and it’s not the Steinbrenner’s.
Finally the Yankees acknowledge that Mark Teixeira is a disappointment because they moved him to 7th in the batting line up…it is about time!! In baseball history, nobody puts their best defensive player at 1st base…there’s a reason! Yeah he’s got a nice corner glove, though I think it’s more important to have a good 3rd base glove than 1st base glove, pfft the Cardinals put Mark McGuire at 1st base…enough said! “But Andrew, he gives you 100 RBI’s…” have you seen who hits before and after him? Have you seen who is on base ahead of him? Jeter, A-Rod, Cano and sometimes Granderson –guys who get on base in a hitters park, he should be a 135 RBI guy.
The truth is, the Yankees paid for a .300 hitter. Starting from 2005 – 2008 he hit .301, .317, .358, and .308 for all sorts of different teams like Texas, Atlanta and the Angels but then the Yankees got him. Since then its .290, .250, .248 and .227 with an on-base percentage that has gone from .383 to .280 and you’re paying $22.5 million for that? With Teixeira, you were always giving up 2 major things anyways: speed – which he has none and the months of April and May – he can’t hit in either but now you’re starting to give up on-base percentage and hitting as well??
You were already giving up speed and pre All-Star break, but now you’re giving up his batting average in the most competitive division in baseball? I’m sorry, but I’m amazed at the tolerance of Yankee fans. Maybe it’d be one thing if he hit 45 home runs with 130 RBI’s, then I’d tolerate the .230 and lousy on-base percentage, but I would gripe silently. The last 4 years of Teixeira’s deal are starting to look like the last 4 years of A-Rod’s…awful!! I’m reading a columnist Jeff Bradley who writes for the Star Ledger and he says “blame the annoying upper respiratory ailment that’s had Teixeira hacking up a lung for 6 weeks” he’s not a tri-athlete, he’s standing up at 1st and has become a .235 hitter, that is what he is in the American League East!!
If you’re playing football in the SEC, you can have a great arm but you can’t throw a bunch of picks. In the end, Teixeira is what he is, but everybody is still like “oh but he plays great defense” he’s at 1st base!!! Not a center fielder, he’s not a shortstop, not a catcher, 3rd basemen or 2nd baseman…he’s a 1st baseman. Years ago, Kansas City put John Mayberry at 1st base – like look who baseball likes to put over at 1st base, they tend to put a lot of stiffs at 1st base. It’s not a key defensive position “but Andrew, Jeter’s getting old and he bounces balls when throwing over there…” please, Jeter is not 70, he’s having a very good season, he’s not bouncing that many over there. It’s amazing, like I’ll defend Yankee fan to the end because they have been incredibly patient. They paid for a .318 hitter and got a guy closer to .218.