The Mark Teixeira Appreciation Thread

The Andy Pettitte renaissance
The bullpen and bench are always in flux

Mark Teixeira's curtain call

The Yankees had just tied the game when Johnny Damon sent a ball into the Yankees bullpen, and the new Stadium was pumped. While Victor Martinez had given the Red Sox the lead with a two-run jack in the prior half inning, the Bombers, behind Damon, quickly rebounded, and first year pinstriper Mark Teixeira stepped to the plate against the untouchable Dan Bard. The first pitch was a breaking ball that dropped in for strike one, but Tex wouldn’t let Bard get away with that again. He threw the same exact pitch and Tex hit a towering blast that landed deep into the right field stands. Order had been restored, and Mark Teixeira once again reminded all of us how lucky we are to have him on the Yankees.

Remember, Tex’s Yankee career didn’t start out so well. On the morning of May 13th he was hitting just .191-.328-.418, a far cry from the .308-.410-.552 he hit last season. Since then though, Tex has been a man on a mission. His .320-.403-.614 batting line is a better reflection of his talents, while his 29 homers lead the American League. He’s also second in the league with 83 RBI and tied with Adam Lind for the lead with 59 XBH. Teixeira has become a legitimate MVP candidate thanks to his gaudy stats and plethora of big hits.

Even though he started the year struggling at the plate, the one thing that never slumped was Tex’s defense. He’s been an All-World defender at first, whether he is ranging to his right to snare balls eying the outfield, leaping to grab balls hit over a mere mortals head, or scooping up throws from his fellow infielders. After watching Jason Giambi trip over his own feet for the last seven years, it’s been quite refreshing to watch an adept defender.

I was of the belief that the Yankees weren’t going to be able to sign Teixeira in the off-season. After dropping more than $250M in commitments to CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, I figured there wasn’t enough left in the piggy bank for Tex and that the season would start with Nick Swisher as the everyday first baseman. But the Steinbrenners found that extra $180M between the couch cushions and brought Tex home to the Bronx. And I couldn’t be any happier.

The Andy Pettitte renaissance
The bullpen and bench are always in flux
  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    When I heard that Teixeira was signing with the Yankees, I felt an incredible combination of joy and surprise.

    • Accent Shallow

      If the Twins make the playoffs, those dopes in the BBWAA might give it to Morneau again, since he’s having a better year than he did in 2006 (when he was about the third most valuable Twin, but who cares? It’s the Cult of the RBI)

    • 27 this year

      I was a debate tournament and when I got home, I turned on the tv which happened to be set to ESPN and in Big letters came up the message saying Mark Teixeira signed with the Yankees, and I was like “WHAT THE HELL!!” and raced to my computer to actually find out details. What a shocker!

    • Salty Buggah

      Yea me too. And it was right before christmas. A lot of people in the media were calling it Tex-mas. I had that feeling for like 2 weeks until it all sunk in.

      • RCK

        Yes, I felt like Cashman had gone out and gotten us all a Xmas present. It was so unexpected and so exactly what we needed, like all the best gifts.

      • http://161stStreet.wordpress.com Chris A

        I remember I was in the car, and I was listening to the 1050 ESPN, thinking that today would be the day the Red Sox sign Teixeira, and when I heard that the Yankees had signed him, I may have broken my car seat out of excitement.

        • yankeegirl49

          Teix had been my fave non Yankee for a long time. I wanted him when he was with Texas, then with Atlanta and then with LA. The day he signed, I got so many congratulations you would have thought I was the one who signed a 180 million dollar contract with the Yankees. I was thrilled then and Im more thrilled now!

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          I was wrong about a lot of things this season. Tex I was 100% right about. He’s the best FA signing the Yanks have made since A-Rod at least.

    • Dela G

      i was completely shocked

  • Matt

    He’s gotta be more than a legitimate MVP candidate. I’d put him up as a favorite, having a ridiculous season on the best team in the majors.

  • 27 this year

    I think Buster Olney put it best on Sportscenter when he said that not only did the Yankees get someone who helps their lineup and field, it also crippled the Red Sox because as a result, the Red Sox traded away some promising talent for a player not even half as good as Tex.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Teix is a beast.
    Nuff said.

  • Salty Buggah

    I appreciate Mark Teixeira!

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I still remember my brother getting so pissed off when the Yankees signed Teixeira…

    • Johan Iz My Brohan

      My bro is a sox fan. and being the photoshop wizard that he is, he edited a photo of Tex into a Sox uniform and cap like 2 days before Tex signed with the Yankees.

      • Salty Buggah

        Johan is a Sox fan?

        • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

          IETCVM

        • Johan Iz My Brohan

          ICWUTUDIDTHUR

          That would be cool though having Johan as a brother, but sadly he isn’t, it’s just a play on words.

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            if Johan was your brother, and you let him play on the Metropolitans, he would wake up one day and you wouldn’t be his brother any more…cause brothers dont let brothers suck ass.

  • dkidd

    as far as i can tell, the #1 gripe in red sox nation this morning is (the perception) that john henry pinched pennies and let tex get away

    the number of posts that started with “you get what you pay for…”

    • Chris

      It’s basically true. They passed on A-Rod because of something around $5M. They were short on Tex by about $15M over 8 years. Considering they’re paying almost that much to Lugo to not play for them, it seems like they just got stingy with Tex.

      • Bo

        Tough to be called stongy when your payroll is 140+. Tex was a total luxury for the Sox. Not like they dont have an AS 1b right now.

        • Rob H.

          What about that decrepid old 3rd baseman for the sox who is lucky he doesn’t break his hip again? Or the washed up DH that is doing nothing for the sox? Tex was a very very valuable guy that the Sox needed in order to get younger.

  • JeffG

    I’m not into twitter but I wonder if John Henry is re-thinking the “curse of MT?” BS he put out. Looks like a real jerk-wad now doesn’t he?

    • Salty Buggah

      To be honest, I hope there is a curse of MT…that works against them.

      • JeffG

        exactly

    • Mikebk

      i love tex’s response to that. “”They can say whatever they want, but there’s no reason for me to, you know, get into any war of words with a 70-some-year-old man. it doesn’t make any sense.”

      • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        My favorite part of that whole thing is that Henry is actually 58. I don’t think Tex was joking when he said Henry’s a “70-some-year-old man,” Henry looks really old and I think Tex really thought he was much older than he actually is. Tex with the unintentional harshness, FTW!

  • Mac

    At the time, I actually thought the Yanks would sign him, and for a very nice change I was right on. I thought that Cash realized almost all of his offense was 35 years old and that Tex’s D was going to be a huge improvement over what the Yanks suffered with Giambi.

    Also the FA market in 2010 was going to blow, so it was the time to empty the bank last year.

    Really all the big guys this series were absolute money – I can’t remember three starting pitching performances as good as that in this kind of series.

    If the Yanks can just take care of buisiness now and play good ball and pile up the amount of wins this team should be able to, it will be clear sailing to the post season.

    The 5th starter problem all of a sudden seems very insignificant – and that’s what I really love about this game – in the span of a few days, things that were a problem for a while are all of a sudden much less significant.

  • dkidd

    true or not, a lot of sox fans believe henry is happy to sell out every game, sell a bunch of pink hats, and come in third

    makes you appreciate the steinbrenners. if we lose, it’s never because they refused to spend money

    • 27 this year

      But teh ROY HALLADAY!!!111!!11!!

  • ShuutoHeat

    I think most if not all Yankee fans are happy with the big Tex in Yankees and how he has played.

    After suffering through Giambi at first for so long, Tex only looks 100x better. Yes I am exaggerating, but hey Tex has made some amazing plays. He’s a two headed monster all by myself, big hit threat on the plate and a defensive monster on first.

    Funny thing is, when news broke that Tex was going to be a Yankee..all the eyes of the Yankee fans widened.

    • Mac

      I think they should have a stat that shows the # of errors made by the other infielders on throws to first – how many times do we see a ss or 3rd baseman bounce a one hop throw that is catchable but isn’t and the thrower gets an error?

  • Bill R

    Joe Morgan for the first time in i don’t know…….. EVER had something worth while to say last night. When he explained that because of Mark’s unusual batting stance and swing it takes him some time to get into a good rhythm of hitting at the plate which would explain his poor April’s and May’s but when he’s on… HE’S ON! This man is a beast and i am glad that he will be manning 1st base for the next decade!

    • mike HC

      So, when he is in a good rhythm, he hits well. And when his rhythm is off, he does not hit well. I think that is par for the course for Joe Morgan.

      • Bill R

        no he explained that he is not in a good rhythm because of his awkward swing that it takes him longer to get comfortable with it.

    • TheLastClown

      Injured wrist?

  • Klemy

    Quite obviously, Tex is on steroids and everyone in Boston knows it!

    “I do believe that they are using steroids. Giambi was using HGH and it didnt do anything to him. If that was the case Papi would have taken HGH to be like them. If you look at the players numbers in April you will see that they were down. Look at Tex and all the rest of the hitters. Tex was slumping all the way to May and then all the sudden he starts hitting like crazy. Then again he gets cold at the end of June until the All Star game then he is starting to get hot again. That is the cycle of steroids not HGH. IMO”
    Posted by Christina August 10, 09 11:01 AM

    Lots of great accussations: http://www.boston.com/sports/columnists/massarotti/2009/08/no_offense_but_do_sox_measure.html

    Tex has been awesome. I love that he’s this excited about playing in NY and that this team seems to close.

    • Salty Buggah

      WOW!

    • A.D.

      What makes it better is this person doesn’t understand how one would actually use steroids.

      • Klemy

        Yeah, that stuck out to me as well. There are a bunch of posts claiming the Yankees are all on steroids. It’s pretty comical. I can’t stop reading their posts.

        • A.D.

          Arod is running like he never had surgery

          Obviously they didn’t listen to the ESPN telecast just ranting how he wasn’t running well.

          • ShuutoHeat

            They are obviously blind as well as deaf. Anyone watching Arod on the base paths will tell you he’s not 100%.

    • ShuutoHeat

      Those retards.

      Sour grapes is what it is, sour grapes.

    • Charlie

      check this one out

      “Probably helps that the Yankees play in an little league equivalent t right field. Which goes to show that they will kick, bite and pull hair to win a championship. Yes, like the little prima donnas that they are. Case in point, the lamest play in the field I have ever seen in my life……..Little Nick Swisher somersaulting after his easy catch. So lame and completely showboating. Typical.”

      • jsbrendog

        because fenway is petco park.

      • http://www.twitter.com/shaked RichYF

        IETC.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        …um…classic case of the monster calling the wall green, so to speak…

      • The Lodge

        Um, How many Home-Runs did the Red Sox over that Little League fence during those four games? Oh only Three? That’s excusable, they were in a “Team Hitting Slump” as many Boston fans will be quick to point out.

        Team Hitting Slump = Getting Dominated by Our Superior Pitching Staff

    • mike HC

      All this Yankee hate just reinforces the idea that the Yanks are back on the right track.

      “They are too good. They must all be taking steroids!!!”

      They hit too many homeruns. It must be because of the right field wall!!!”

      Keep it coming baby

  • JeffG

    Tex is the man but so is A-Rod.

    I’d like to add that although Tex had a great weekend and has played to a level that we can lead the toughest division, A-Rod deserves a ton of credit too. Friday he did it, and last night’s game was really his too. No one was getting to Lester and he did. If Coke holds it for us, A-Rod is the hero again.

    Hopefully this will make some of his detractors come around and show Alex a little appreciation too. Way overdue.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Yup, A-Rod deserves the love too. They both do.

      • The Lodge

        If only A-Rod could hit in the clutch…

    • A.D.

      Support 13!

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    When is the Brian Cashman appreciation scheduled? I want to clear my calendar.

    • 27 this year

      I think that is going to be saved for the day after we win our 27th World Series, but that is just my guess.

      :)

      • Mac

        Yep, or at least get to the Show. Cash did alot of things right this year – maybe none bigger than not overpaying for a starter at the deadline.

        Only thing is how many GM’s if they had the $ would not have signed CC, Tex and most likely Burnett?

        • Observer283

          True. But the reason I give Cash credit is he really had to go to bat to get Teixeira. By all accounts, management just didn’t want to do it. But Cashman really worked hard to show how important it was to sign Tex, especially considering he would be a Red Sock if we didn’t sign him.

          So, the ownership had the money to spend on Tex. But kudos to Cash for working so hard to convince them Tex was worth it.

  • A.D.

    Christmas came a few days early last year with the Tex signing, hopefully that means it could come a few months early this year i.e. October.

    Tex has been a beast thus far, and only makes it better he was pulled right out from under the Sox’s nose.

  • Matty Ice

    IMO, while Mauer is just insane, you have to look at what Tex is doing overall. Mauer is great defensively, no doubt. But if you look at how much better Tex has made the Yankees infield (like Jeter) you have to give him an edge.

    Plus a .999 fielding%? Ridiculous.

    • The Lodge

      In Blazing Copper?

      • dkidd

        love the chrome accents!

      • Klemy

        ICWUDT and IETC +1!

  • Makavelli

    After losing Bobby Abreu’s and Jason Giambi’s bat and OBP…we definitely needed somebody to come in and make up for it. While Swisher has the OBP…he basically has the lower end each (Abreu’s HR totals) and (Giambi’s batting average)…making him not the grandest to make up for BOTH being gone. Though, I can’t take anything away from Swisher…he too has been a blessing in disguise. But what would we have done when Nady left almost immediately…would we have perhaps added Victor Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez or perhaps Matt Holliday at the trade deadline?? None of which would probably do better than what Tex is doing now. And how far back or ahead would we have been with just Matsui or Posada in the 3 hole instead? The addition of Teixeira also takes away the late inning defensive replacement we were all used to for 7 years…which replaced Giambi’s bat with a sub-mediocre bat…but good defense. Teixeira has both and the move is now ultimately unnecessary. The elimination of deciding on that choice takes a giant load off of the managers back.

    And the addition of Teixeira has definitely lightened the load for Alex Rodriguez…who, coming off of hip surgery, doesn’t feel the pressure of having to produce nearly as much at 80%…because he has somebody who can’t make up for it.

    I loved the acquisition then…I was a huge supporter of getting him…in fact I wanted him over AJ Burnett…but now we have all 3.

    We’re cruising and it’s because everybody is contributing. But you can’t thank Teixeira for lightening the load tremendously and being the major catalyst…

  • Bo

    Bout time Cashman realized that if you’re going to play the FA game you should target in their prime top of the line talent.

    Tex was a no brainer. Like Beltran should have been too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

      Didn’t Cashman want Beltran, but Steinbrenner wanted Randy Johnson?

      • jsbrendog

        yup/ but that doesnt matter to bo.

  • Mike

    Does anyone know why UZR and other defensive metrics rank teixeira as only an average defender? Clearly watching the games proves otherwise but it is interesting to see how these stats don’t really add up for him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

      UZR’s not good for first basemen because it can’t judge how well they field infield throws.

  • Raf

    i think his worth is in how this team would look this year if he was in a Red Sox uni. no one knows how the dealing between them went sour but im sure glad it did.

  • JGS

    All offseason long I was saying if I could have just one free agent, it would be Tex because of how perfect he would be for the Yankees.

    Merry Christmas, Cashman

  • CB

    He’s been an All-World defender at first, whether he is ranging to his right to snare balls eying the outfield, leaping to grab balls hit over a mere mortals head, or scooping up throws from his fellow infielders.

    But how can that be when UZR says he’s below average?

    • ShuutoHeat

      UZR iz teh Liex0rs

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I appreciate both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.

    Even with his Boras-programming, Tex plays the game with the enthusiasm of a little leaguer. He looks like a big kid out there. Not only can he be counted on at the plate, but his defensive skills are just exemplary. How many innings, even games, has he saved for us on the field?

    My first Yankee purchase this year with a Tex t-shirt. It was a wise, wise purchase. All hail our first baseman!!!

  • Yankees_Universe

    Can we just name him Prince Teixeira ? He just looks like Prince William.

  • M18
    • Salty Buggah

      you mean so far? My favorite pic hopefully will be A-rod/Tex/Jeter holding the World Series Trophy.

    • Chris

      I’m sorry, but I hate that picture. If you don’t know the context, it looks like Tex is dancing his way to first base.

  • Steve

    I’m going to throw this out there – When all is said and done, a whole generation of Yankees fans will list Mark Teixeira as their favorite Yankee player.

    • Salty Buggah

      He’s my 2nd favorite (after A-rod) already

    • Makavelli

      Small sample size but…

      Mark Teixeira or Paul O’Neill when it’s all said and done?

      Who’s more popular amongst their respective generations…

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Don Mattingly.

        • putt

          Amen, but you’ve gotta consider a number of people here never saw him play.

      • pat

        Pauly has an eerie hold in people’s psyche’s because he used to kick the shit out of watercoolers. Tex will probably have to dome crazy ish to overcome that.
        He might have to kill a guy.

        With a trident.

        Ty Cobb did it.

        • Klemy

          IETCVM

        • Riddering

          You know, I think you have something there. Looking back, I wasn’t crazy about Tex until he flipped out over Padilla & Gomez.

          Hmmm…

  • steve s

    Don’t forget Mrs. Tex in showing our appreciation. She was the one (according to reports at the time) that pushed him to NY rather than Bos.

    • ShuutoHeat

      It’s funny how the wives have such an impact on the decision.

      Ichiro supposedly stayed in Seattle due to his wife saying “you should stay”, while everyone else voted for him to goto New York.

      I could be wrong, citing from memory :P

      • Makavelli

        I’m sure Nintendo had something to do with it too…

        And the fact that Japan is incredibly closer from Seattle than it is from the east coast.

        Imagine the prospects they could have stockpiled if they got rid of Ichiro at his peak

      • Klemy

        How sick would our lineup be with Ichiro leading off? Christ…

        • pat

          I’ve bee secretly wanting to swing a manageble trade to put Ichiro in LF next year. Yes, I know he makes a shit ton of money but a .378 OBP and 40 SB in front of Tex and Arod is very appealing.

  • Ivan

    Teixeira has become one of my fav yanks. I,ve wanted the yanks to sign the guy and when it they did it was absolute joy and of course surprise.

    I really like what this dude brings to the table. The guy is absolutely amazing too.

    Plus, dare I say has that gritty, gutty and intangible stuff as well.

    • TheLastClown

      You know, I think there is something to the “intangible” qualities thrown around out there, leadership etc.

      BUT the intangible things are so much more appreciable when you’re holding on to a 145 OPS+

    • Cam

      I wanted them to get him more than anyone this offseason. There are always players that you admire from afar and he was always one of those for me. I’m so happy we get to watch him everyday now. I was at the game last night and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a louder game before (I’ve never been to the playoffs). When he hit that HR you literally could not hear anything. The whole place was shaking.

  • pat

    I’ll be honest, Tex has been much much more than I ever expected. I had never really payed much attention to him I figured we were getting the 1b version of ARod, a baseball playing robot more or less. I had him pegged as sort of aloof and mostly concerned with putting up good numbers and maintaining a good appearance.

    Boy was a sure as shit wrong about that one. He’s much more emotive and intense than I expected. When he got drilled by Padilla in Texas and was jawin at him while walkin up the line I was like WTF? I love this guy. I love seeing him all fired up and pissed off I feel he brings a bit of an edge to the team because not only can he talk shit but he can back it up. Jeter, posada, mo arod are all great players but pretty much keep it to themselves. Tex isn’t afraid to get in someones grill if he feels wronged and I dig that.

    This team has the makings of something special. They have a little bit of swagger and that makes them very very dangerous.

    • jsbrendog

      “throw the ball over the fucking plate”

  • rconn23

    It’s amazing that there was a sentiment among Yankee fans of – and trust me, it was out there – “we don’t need Mark Teixera”.

    Really… It was the most sensible signing of the off season.

    Has anything been this close to money in the bank? A guaranteed 30 + home run, .380-400 OBP., 100 RBI guy, who plays gold glove defense.

    It was the safest bet Cashman could have made.

  • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

    Mark is the man. He is killing the ball and saving runs.

  • Beast of the East

    what will it take to win MVP this year? I know hes leading most if offensive categories, i think his team having the best team in the majors should be a huge factor over morneau and the rest. Btw, is it me or A-rod missed a month, had a serious hip surgery, and STILL is playing at an extremely high level. I’ll take a 60-70% A-Rod over most of the league if not all.

    • Beast of the East

      what will it take Teixeira…

  • Chili Davis

    The Red Sox’s decision to not pony up for Tex, thus allowing him to join the Yanks, is going to make a big difference for a very long time. Thank you, Boston.

    Tex + CC + AJ will go down as one of the best offseasons in sports history if those guys help produce championships.

    • Klemy

      But Red Sox fans will maintain forever that Tex was never going to go there, he was going to be a Yankee all the long.

      • Whitey14

        That’s because even at equal money, his wife wanted him to go to New York. Nobody worth their salt defies their wife/mother of their children, especially if they didn’t grow up dreaming of playing for the Red Sox. I think Boston would have had to blow the Yankees offer away to change Mrs. Teixeira’s mind and that would not have been financially prudent.

  • Nickel

    I remember when I heard on the news the Yankees signed Tex. Actually, as I recall, my brother called me from work and told me to turn on the radio to see if it was actually true. I remember talking to my mother (who watches games but isn’t always up on non-Yankee players) later that day, and the conversation went something like this:

    Mom: Who is this new guy the Yankees signed today?
    Me: You mean Mark Teixeira?
    Mom: Yeah. Who is he? Where did he come from?
    Me: Well, most recently Anaheim, but he started in Texas.
    Mom: Is he any good?
    Me: You’ll love him. Trust me.

    She does now.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    A few Boston articles have called Teix a traitor. How can you be a traitor if you’ve never been loyal to someone?

    • Klemy

      Yeah, that seems to be a bit of stretch eh? lol

    • Whitey14

      He’s not a traitor, he did what worked for him and his family. I don’t have any ill will towards him for going to New York, but I would have preferred he signed with Boston. After watching him carry his bat to 1st base last night raised in the air, I’d prefer he insert it into his rectum, but that’s just a suggestion ;-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

        After watching him carry his bat to 1st base last night raised in the air, I’d prefer he insert it into his rectum

        Ooo la la! KINKY!

        /not that there’s anything wrong with that

  • leftylarry

    Where we would be without Aj Burnett who many here said was a bad signing and would be injured by now?
    He’s probably in reality our #1, worst case 1A.

  • Brian

    Simply stated, he is the MVP. The combination of his offense and his defense make him the best player in the American League.

    • pete

      joe mauer is still the best player in the american league. if mauer hit in yankee stadium with the yanks lineup, he’d prolly have 25ish hrs and be closing in on 100 rbi already all while playing great defense at one of the most important (vs. least important for tex) defensive positions. Love tex, and would easily give him at least 3rd and possibly 2nd, he ain’t mauer. Close (maybe equal) to morneau though.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    MT’s love for Donnie Baseball also had to play a part in his signing. That’s something Boston did not have.

  • TJ

    Opinions: Which moment was louder?

    AJ Burnett’s ovation on friday or Tex’s homer to sweep yesterday?

    • pete

      tex’s homer. CC’s ovation was loud too and considering it was 12:45 AM, a-rods homer friday was pretty effing loud. actually so was last nights, although not quite so much. I think a lot of people were probably sleeping when he first made contact with each of them, so it was more of a delayed effect. Tex’s homer was a crack of the bat stadium-shaker. Loudest moment of the year.

      • TJ

        True that…I was at the game on friday and the ovation for burnett was absolutely deafening. I can’t imagine the noise one Tex made contact.

  • sp

    Teixeira looks like the muscled version of Prince William. When Teixeira smiles he is all William.