The professionalism of Mark Teixeira

Levine defends Yankee spendings
Christmas Day Open Thread

The Times’ Ben Shipgel profiles Mark Teixeira today, and he paints a picture of a consummate professional baseball player who, like many of us, grew up idolizing Don Mattingly. Long gone, it seems, are the days when the Yanks’ first baseman wintered in Las Vegas and spent his spare time signing body parts.

Levine defends Yankee spendings
Christmas Day Open Thread
  • ‘The’ Steve

    The Yanks getting away from the Giambi types, shifting to guys who can field their position (as well as hit) is one of the more underrated aspects of this off season. Just the fact that we don’t have to carry a caddy for him means that our bench just got one spot deeper.

    Our OF will also be light years ahead of prior teams defensively. With Tex at 1B, Cano should be able to play a few steps over and cover for some of Jeter’s deficiencies as well. You only have to win by one run, and it will be nice to win a well pitched, low scoring game once in a while.

  • Januz

    Mark Teixeira should feel right at home in The Bronx. The Yankees who are famous about how players must look professional (No beards, no jeans on road trips etc (I wonder how Manny would have liked to cut his dreadlocks?)). In addition, the Yankees have had tremendous success with perfectionists on their team. Joe DiMaggio is just one example: He had his Army uniform custom tailored, and made the famous quote: “Show Your Best, Someone May Be Seeing You For The First Time”. Derek Jeter is a perfectionist as well (Can anyone remember him making many mental mistakes? I certainity cannot), another is Mariano Rivera, who you NEVER see showing up opponents after victories (ala K-Rod). PS: Everything I read about Mark Melancon, suggests that he has a professional attitude as well.
    He will fit in well in a place, where neither his work ethic or his paycheck will make him stand out (As opposed to say Boston with their “Animal House” type clubhouse”). I can’t wait until spring Training.

  • day

    Hey!no hating on the BIG G!

  • Lanny

    The Giambi they signed wasn’t the Giambi they got.

    He was supposed to be a devastating hitter. Someone with power to all fields. Someone who could hit .330 while putting 30 in the seats.

    They got a 250 dead pull hitter.

    • Ben K.

      There’s really point in arguing with you because you won’t listen, but that’s just not true.

      • whozat

        Well…in his later years, he definitely pulled the ball a lot. I don’t know if he ACTUALLY used the whole field in Oakland significantly more than he did here in NY, but the announcers certainly tell us he did. And his higher AVG over there would suggest he did.

        Then again, he got old and his bat slowed down. In his later Yankee years, I don’t know that he really had the bat speed to hit it hard the other way while still being able to turn on an inside pitch.

        He was still a very productive player — when he played — though.

        • Old Ranger

          Jasons first year he was very good;
          .314 avg.
          .435 OBP
          .598 SLG
          172 OPS
          the next year was a bit lower across the board. I think he did the same as most left handed power bats do in Yankees home…became a power pull hitter and got off rods (what ever you guys call them). After pulling for so many years, it was harder to re-learn that which got him there. Jason was a good guy but, it was time for a change. 27/09.

        • A.D.

          You can check out his hits by middle, pull, other way on Baseball reference. Basically his going the other way is exaggerated, he was always up the middle & pull, and sportscasters harped on it more as his avg dropped and was shifted on

        • rbizzler

          Having watched the Big G in Oaktown for a few years before he hit free agency, I can’t recall him as being any more or less of a pull hitter than he was in his later years. I am being upfront about the fact that this analysis is completely anecdotal and not backed by any stats whatsoever. I think that the scouting report, getting off PED’s and the ‘shift’ had as much to do with his stats as his approach. He realized that warning track power the other way wasn’t as valuable as aiming for the short porch on the regular.

          • Old Ranger

            Thanks A.D. and rbizzler…
            I was going by the stats (that’s why I hate them, but use them) not having much chance to see him play that much when he was in Calf.

      • RustyJohn

        Lol…I want to cut and paste that statement and use it in court one day.

  • A.D.

    As Januz wrote, he already fits the Yankee mold, no haircut necessary, excellent to see. That said other guys have done well despite not being in that mold earlier (i.e. Damon)

  • rbizzler

    The more I learn about Tex, the more I like. The guy is a professional and is no-nonsense. He left money on the table from the Nats because he really wanted to be in New York. Not that he didn’t get a really large pile of dough, he did, but he could have been just as comfortable financially in Boston or DC considering their reported offers.

    His attitude makes it much easier to get excited about his tenure (not that I don’t root for the laundry anyway) as I feel that he isn’t just a mercenary type who views all of the quirks of playing in NY as necessary evils.

  • gg

    wonder when they will do his yankeeography up….does anyone know how that works; how many new ones they do each season? who is up next?

  • Old Ranger

    I am to much of a non-conformist to start off with the usual line, so here goes.
    How do you guys get the smiliy faces etc., in your posts? 27/09.