Is Tex a sheep or a wolf? Time to find out…

December 12, 2008 | Drew Forrester

There’s a scene in Training Day in which Denzel Washington tries to determine if Ethan Hawke is a legitimate candidate for a position in his narcotics’ unit or just a kid who thought he might want to be a hard-nosed detective but instead looks more suited for a life writing parking tickets.

Washington asks him:  “Are you a sheep (phony) or a wolf (legit)?

Eventually, Ethan Hawke howls like a wolf and Washington has found his man.

Someone should send Mark Telxeira a copy of that movie today and pose the big question to him.

Hey Tex:  Are you a sheep…or a wolf?

As for the on-going negotiations between Teixeira and the rest of the teams clamoring for his sweet swing and slick glove, I guess this is what happens when you decide to play with the big boys.

The Orioles – by their own doing – have put themselves in a difficult position in the Mark Teixeira Saga.

And Teixeira, guided by his rat-fink agent Scott Boras, isn’t making things any easier for his “home team” by playing Baltimore against Boston – and against Washington – against Los Angeles – and maybe even against themselves. 

I thought Mark Teixeira was different.  I thought maybe he truly was a kid who used to listen to Orioles’ games on the radio and dreamed of someday wearing orange and black and swinging a bat for the home team in front of his friends and family at Camden Yards.  

It looks like it was too good to be true.  He’s just like all the rest of them.  Money, money, money.

Whether or not he realizes it, Teixeira has put the Birds in a bad position.  If he winds up signing in Boston, it will get ugly with the already-diminishing flock of baseball fans in Baltimore for one big reason: When the chips were down and the O’s could either go “all in” or throw their cards down and get out of the game, they folded and walked away from the table.  

And, as usual, Boston stayed in the game and won.  He could wind up going to the Nationals, which opens up a whole other can of worms since the Nats weren’t even in existence when he was “dreaming about playing for the Orioles” in the 1990’s.  He might re-sign in Los Angeles, which would be the easiest of all for the O’s to digest.  Who wouldn’t want to live in Anaheim, after all?  But if Boston wins out and Tex goes north, there’s gonna be hell to pay all the way around.

Some of this is Tex’s fault.  First, he employed Boras, perhaps the most notorious liar in the business, and gave him the task of helping plot his future.  I have to question Teixeira’s business accumen just for making that choice, frankly.  Second, when all of this shakes down, if he doesn’t sign in Baltimore, the blood on HIS hands will still be caked to his fingers next June 29th when he arrives at Camden Yards wearing a Boston hat (if, of course, it goes that way and he signs with the Red Sox).  And it’s Teixeira’s fault that he “talked the talk” about dreaming to play for his hometown team while growing up and then, when given that once in a lifetime opportunity to make more money than he ever dreamed of (no pun intended), he suddenly stopped dreaming about the home team and, instead, decided cashing in was the better way to go.

The Orioles could, of course, put Teixeira front and center today and put his character on full display by doing something completely insane and overwhelming.

They could fax Boras an offer right now for $200 million over 10 years.

“There it is Mark.  $200 million.  You still dreaming that dream about playing for the home team?  Or are you just using the Orioles to drive up your price elsewhere?”

If Tex passes on $200 million from the Orioles, you might as well just put F-R-A-U-D on the back of that Red Sox jersey.

But throwing a $200 million offer at him would mean the O’s would be “all in”.  However, maybe they really don’t want to still be at the table right now.

Maybe they’re happy with the fact he turned them down.  Maybe they’re happy to have saved $170 million or whatever it takes to get him.  Maybe they’ll take that money and buy other players.

If they want Teixeira – there’s one way to flush him out today.  

Offer him $200 million and send him a plane ticket for the press conference.

I’m not necessarily saying that’s what Drew would do — I’ve said from day one of this whole process that Drew wouldn’t sign Mark Teixeira for $20 million a year.  But I’m not running the club.

But I also know that if you really want to see if someone’s legitimate or not, you “call the hand” and see where they stand.

Does Tex really want to come home?  Or does he just want to use the O’s to get another $20 million from the Red Sox?

There’s an easy way to find out.  Make him the $200 million offer and see what happens next.