Today is the final day of the 2016 regular season. The Yankees have already been eliminated from postseason contention, though they’ve also clinched their 24th straight winning season, and that tells you they were good but not good enough. The offense was the main culprit. The pitching certainly wasn’t without flaws either.
Prior to today’s season finale, the Yankees will honor Mark Teixeira, who has decided to call it a career because his body simply can handle the 162-game grind anymore. He’s got neck and knee issues, on top of who knows what else. I still remember the day the Yankees signed Teixeira. The day they pulled the rug out from under the Red Sox to sign him was one of the most exciting days in RAB history.
Teixeira’s eight years in pinstripes have been, well, complicated. Mostly productive. He’s put up a .248/.344/.479 (119 OPS+) batting line with 206 home runs with the Yankees, which works out to 18.3 fWAR and 20.6 bWAR. WAR underrates his defense too. It doesn’t handle first basemen well. Teixeira was second in the MVP voting in 2009 and he hit in the middle of the order for the team’s most recent World Championship squad.
At the same time, the last few years of Teixeira’s career have featured a lot of injuries and a lot of balls hit into the shift, and both of those things are disappointing. Even still, Teixeira was a really good player for the Yankees for a long time, plus he was a bit of a goof and always good for a laugh. It’s too bad we won’t get to enjoy BLOWN SAVE a little longer. That was a hoot. At least we got a full season of Foul Territory.
A year ago Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez carried the Yankees offensively. After today, they’ll both be gone. A-Rod was released back in August and now Teixeira is walking away. This is kind of sad. Sad and exciting at the same time. Those two were key members of some really good teams. At the same time, the Yankees are making room for younger players who we hope will one day form the next great Yankees team.
This afternoon’s series finale is scheduled to begin at 3:05pm ET — every game on the final day of the season starts at the same time for maximum drama — and the Yankees say the Teixeira ceremony will begin at 2:45pm ET. I’m certain the YES Network will carry it. As for today’s game, here is the Orioles’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:
- LF Brett Gardner
- CF Jacoby Ellsbury
- C Gary Sanchez
- DH Brian McCann
- 1B Mark Teixeira
- SS Didi Gregorius
- RF Aaron Hicks
- 3B Ronald Torreyes
- 2B Donovan Solano
RHP Luis Cessa
Today’s game is important for the Orioles. A win will clinch a wildcard spot. A loss won’t automatically eliminate them — the Blue Jays and Tigers both need to win — but it would put their backs up against the well. Here are the tiebreaker scenarios. Let’s make life miserable for them. Enjoy the final game of the season and Teixeira’s career, everyone.