As I watched Mark Teixeira hit what would be the game winning homerun on Sunday night as the Yankees completed a four game sweep of the Red Sox, I couldn’t help but chuckle a little.
The win pushed the Yankees to a seemingly insurmountable 6 ½ game lead over Boston, and well on their way to returning to the playoffs after a one year absence.
Their big off-season splash in the free agent market returned dividends yet again, as Teixeira added to his already gaudy totals for the year, and now has a league leading 29 HR and trails only Justin Morneau in the AL with 84 RBI. AND he’s still got two months of meaningful, regular season baseball left to play.
That projects out to around 42 HR and 122 RBI for his first full season New York, and if he can pick up the pace a little, he could easily post a .300 average. Who’s to say if anybody is worth $20 million, but if Teixiera can post those kind of numbers year in and year out, Brian Cashman won’t be losing much sleep over that signing.
Honestly, watching Teixeira pump his fist and celebrate with his Yankee teammates after dealing that crushing blow on Sunday didn’t sicken me in the slightest. I actually thoroughly enjoyed watching the entire game. It was a good, entertaining, meaningful baseball game.
Now, had Teixeira lost his mind and signed on to play this Grapefruit League brand of baseball they play here in Baltimore, now that would have sickened me. What a complete and total embarrassment that would have been. Can you imagine that guy, with that glove, and that bat, and that baseball IQ, running out there with this team?
By now somebody would have had to explain to him that we don’t believe in sacrifice flies in this town, that moving guys over with a bunt is for little leaguers, and that if you haven’t been thrown out at third base, well, you just haven’t really lived yet.
Could you imagine the regret that guy would feel every time he hopped on I-97 and headed to the ballpark. Imagine the ride home each night. Ughh. I mean, steamed crabs are good and all, but they ain’t that good.
He would have a hard time convincing me that he had a better job than me. Honestly.
This isn’t about the Orioles’ future. I might still believe in that- they don’t make it easy, but I still might believe. It’s really about the past.
It would have been one thing if Teixeira could have looked at himself as the missing link, that one player that could put the Orioles right there in contention with New York and Boston. But it’s completely another to ask a proven, 29 year old, Gold Glover to stand around and participate in the type of baseball the Orioles play.
Like it or not, this losing, this fundamentally unsound BS they try to sell, has become their M.O. over the last 12 years. The fact is, as I’m sure Andy MacPhail will find again this off-season when he looks to the free agent market for some corner infielders, that until these young guys can somehow change that losing reputation, they shouldn’t even expect the courtesy that Teixeira gave them by listening.