"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

I Want it, I Want it, I Want it

Man, it must feel good to feel needed, huh? Take Mark Teixeira. I think he’s an excellent player and he’s going to get a ridiculous contract before all is said and done this off-season. I don’t know if he is a great player, but he certainly is good.  And boy, is he ever wanted.

Over at SI.com, Lee Jenkins writes about why the Angels need to sign Teixeira while at Fox, Ken Rosenthal writes that if the Yankees really want to stick it to Boston, they’ll sign Teixeria, dollars and years be damned.

One thing for sure, if the Red Sox do sign him, I think the Yankees will bring Manny Ramirez, baggage, bat and all to the BX.

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:32 pm

I just don't think Mark TeiXeira is a once in a lifetime player, which a contract approaching 200 million dollars suggests.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:36 pm

Seems as though they know Jesus Montero's got a lock on 1B in three years, that's why they're laid back with Tex. Too bad if that backfires. Love how we always seem to back ourselves into a corner on these deals. Making it more expensive for Boston doesn't mean it makes it easier for us (Dice-K?)

Did anyone else notice the tug-o-war Rafael Furcal's agents have managed to get the Dodgers and Braves into?

3 rbj   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:36 pm

Tex is very, very good. Just not sure he's another A-Rod, and worth A-Rod money.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:41 pm

[3] Would one way of telling be how his presence and absence effected the lineups he was in?

5 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:42 pm

Baldelli? Over Cameron? Latest on him today is his condition is NOT the potentially fatal one first diagnosed, but a much less severe, and more treatable one. Leaving sport aside, this is wonderful news, obviously.

Bringing sport back, the man is a CF. Obviously his health needs monitoring, and due diligence, but he'd be easy to cheer for in pinstripes.

6 The Hawk   ~  Dec 17, 2008 1:54 pm

The linked article has it wrong with The Rod and Manny. Or someone else has it wrong, because I've read more than once those two are actually buddies. I suppose a freak like The Rod could still feel threatened by Manny, but my instinct is they would do well together.

I would have liked Teixeira on the team but it's a bit much after getting those two pitchers. Kind of gross.

7 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 17, 2008 2:03 pm

I don't know where the Cabrera comparisons started, but they are absurd. Teixeira is going to be 29...he is in the midst of his prime, meaning the 150 OPS+ level is probably his peak. Cabrera, however, will be 26. He basically started his career producing at the 150 OPS+ level, and after an adjustment season in the AL, can be reasonably expected to improve (assuming he stays in shape).

8 Just Fair   ~  Dec 17, 2008 2:12 pm

I simply don't want Tex or Manny. Tex needs too much and the other guy, well. bleh. The circus comes to MSG once a year, right? Go see your clowns then.

9 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 17, 2008 2:29 pm

Re: "Cabrera comparisons"
I saw an article asking who was better... Piazza or Pudge?
Many people guessed Mike because of his awesome offensive numbers. The article found Pudge MUCH more valuable, because the difference in defense was huge.

Now I am not equating the defense at C compared to 1B. However, while Cabrera is much more of an offensive force then Tex, when looking at D and baserunning, the comparison is probably pretty close. (Tex, career OPS+ of 134 to Miggy, Career OPS of 140).

While Miggy is younger, he is fatter and had about his worst year, last year, his first year in the AL.

Over the last 4 years, Miggy has a slight edge in WinShares, 114 to 109.

10 Diane Firstman   ~  Dec 17, 2008 2:38 pm

I think Alex wants a "Magic Bus" to take the Yanks to the right player for the team ... :-)

11 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 17, 2008 2:39 pm

[9] You are equating defense at C to 1B with that analogy. We don't know how good Cabrera can be at 1B, only that he is bad at 3B. What's more, everyone seems to be making Tex out to be the next Mattingly, when many metrics pegged him at just below average from 2005 to 2007 before rebounding strongly in 2008.

Because he his 3-years younger, Cabrera's upside definitely higher than Teixeira's. Unless Cabrera proves to be an absolute hack at 1B, I don't think Teixeira will come close to providing the same amount of value over the next 8-10 years.

12 Bama Yankee   ~  Dec 17, 2008 3:06 pm

While I'm not sure I want Manny, I think it's possible he might actually be good for A-Rod. Besides the protection in the lineup, Manny might help keep A-Rod loose. Manny doesn't seem to get rattled by the pressure of big games. Remember his comments during the ALCS a few years ago: "Why should we panic? We've got a great team. ... It doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like it's the end of the world."

I remember hearing that and at first thinking that I couldn't believe he felt that way. Shouldn't he care more than that? Then I realized that was probably why he was successful, he didn't let the pressure of the moment bother him. It's just another game... go out there, see the ball, hit the ball, trot around the bases.

Maybe this attitude would help A-Rod. Alex seems to want to exhibit a "Jeterian" intensity and thus puts too much pressure on himself. Could it be that "A-Rod being Manny" would be a good thing for the Yankees?

13 tommyl   ~  Dec 17, 2008 3:11 pm

[12] I think the idea that Manny should be a role model for any other player is sort of laughable. There are already plenty of other Yankees who deal with the pressure well. What we don't need is a guy who fakes injuries, whines and doesn't run because he's in a bad mood.

14 jonnystrongleg   ~  Dec 17, 2008 3:24 pm

It's a bad idea to save space for a guy who is 3 years away from the Majors. What's plan B if Montero fails? Find some free agent who may or may not be better than Tex in 2012 and live with out of position Nick Swisher and ex-shortstops and catchers in the meantime? Montero should be Plan B (or C) and if he comes on like gangbusters, it's not a bad problem to have in 2011 when you still have a DH position to fill everyday.

It's also a bad idea to assume 1b is easy to fill. The Yanks have trotted out Andy Phillips, Tony Clark, Tino Martinez, Doug Mientkiewicz, John Olerud and Miguel Cairo (among others) in hopes of settling Giambi at DH. It may not have been the top roster concern each season, but those guys represent a consistent weakness in the Yankee lineup for a good % of the time.

The Yankees have an open position and there is a good fit to fill it. The market (imperfect as it is) will set a price for him and the Yankees should pay it and fill the vacancy. I don't see the point in gnashing teeth over the years and length of the contract unless those things will impair the Yanks down the road to such an extent that the near terms gains are outweighed. It's been clear to me that the Yankees will spend good money after bad and aren't going to be hamstrung in 2012 if unforseen circumstances make the contract an albatross.

15 Bama Yankee   ~  Dec 17, 2008 3:38 pm

[13] Is A-Rod one of those Yankees who deals with pressure well? Do the Yankees who deal with pressure well seem to be helping A-Rod?

Like I said, I'm not sure that I want Manny (actually, I pretty sure that I don't). That said, if he does sign with the Yankees, it is possible that he plays hard (or at least doesn't do the things you mention) and it is possible that his laid back style helps keep A-Rod loose. Could these things happen? Maybe. Could it all fall apart? Possibly.

But, if it all comes together...if the planets line up just right...if the wind blows slightly out of the west...if the sun reflects off the new facade at just the right angle... it could just work... couldn't it? Please, tell me it could...there's got to be some silver liner to the cloud that is Manny Being Manny.

16 The Hawk   ~  Dec 17, 2008 3:50 pm

[15] I think you're right, and I think it could work. The personnel problem is a concern though. I think Manny would be someone you sign to DH. But the Yankees already have a DH, and he's not going anywhere.

17 Bama Yankee   ~  Dec 17, 2008 4:02 pm

So, if you had to choose between Manny, Bonds or a sharp stick in the eye... which one would it be?

(I'm not sure...I'm still thinking...I do have two eyes)

18 tommyl   ~  Dec 17, 2008 4:07 pm

[15] My point was that there are many players on the Yankees (not counting A-Rod) who play well under pressure and none have had any effect that we can see (plus or minus) on him. I am unclear as to why Manny showing up and taking a leak in Monument Park will suddenly make A-Rod any different. Also, A-Rod has performed well AT TIMES in high pressures situations. See almost all of 2007, or the division series against Minnesota in 2004 and some of his career with the Mariners in the postseason.

19 tommyl   ~  Dec 17, 2008 4:07 pm

[17] You should up that to Manny, Bonds or flaxeed oil in the eye ;)

20 Bama Yankee   ~  Dec 17, 2008 4:20 pm

[18] Good points, but that stuff doesn't really help me with my silver lining now does it? ;-)

[19] Nice!

21 zack   ~  Dec 17, 2008 4:37 pm

The Yankees really could use offense. The idea of signing Tex to the 9 year 200M+ contract it would take just seems like the wrong approach. The same people hating on the Burnett signing for the length should be appalled at the idea of a 9 year contract. I know the Yankees don't have anyone waiting in the wings, but they should trade some of that damn pitching depth for someone to wait in the wings.

As William has pointed out, Tex could really really help this team, but the idea that he should be paid almost as much as A-Rod just doesn't sit right. For that matter, A-Rod making A-Rod money doesn't sit right.

Do people seriously think 9 years 200M+ is a good idea? And yet think that Manny for 2-3 years is a bad idea simply because "he's a jerk" or "doesn't play the game right?" Oy vey

22 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 17, 2008 5:02 pm

Let me quote a direct statement from [9]
"Now I am not equating the defense at C compared to 1B"
Let me quote a direct statement from [11]
"You are equating defense at C to 1B with that analogy"

23 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 17, 2008 5:07 pm

I dunno. Is there anyone else here wincing at the spend-it-all built into even TALKING about Teixeira or Manny? What's 23 million a year? Gotta buy back into the playoffs!

I don't at all subscribe to the idea that it is somehow wrong for players to be paid well for their skills in an industry that is (currently) doing just fine. But I admit I flinch at bit at the idea of another 220 million payroll or our 2 top starters (assuming AJ's #2) making more than many teams' full salary base.

I know all the reasons why the Yankees are awash in money, including tax breaks, YES, merchandising, the new stadium revenue stream ... but isn't it a bit greedy to pile Teixmanny onto Sababurnett? (I didn't want Burnett either, but am going to do a lot of finger crossing.)

I'll cheer for Tex like mad if he comes (I doubt it is being seriously discussed, actually). I think Manny is a quitter on his teammates, and flat-out disrespects the sport and I do NOT want him. I don't want to HAVE to cheer for him.

No takers here on the Baldelli for CF idea? Free agent, keeps Melky for backup, give Rocco some bench time ... or is everyone now on the dump Melky wagon?

24 Yankster   ~  Dec 17, 2008 5:08 pm

[19] nice

25 RIYank   ~  Dec 17, 2008 5:39 pm

The Boston Herald reported that the Sox have made an 8-year offer.

I have no idea how much Teixeira is worth to the Yankees, mainly because I have no idea what kind of budget they're on. (Well, I have some idea -- it's real big.) But I do know having him in pinstripes plus keeping him off the Sox is extremely valuable. More valuable, I'd say, than having CC in the rotation.

26 The Hawk   ~  Dec 17, 2008 5:43 pm

[23] Regarding your initial question, see [6].

27 Just Fair   ~  Dec 17, 2008 5:49 pm

For a different take, I am a Steelers junkie and regular reader of a bunch of Pittsburgh sites. I come across a lot of Pirates news. How f@#$ing depresssing! Manny should go on some kind of "Personal Vision Quest" and play in Pittsburgh for a few years. Ha. No pressure at all down there.

28 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 17, 2008 5:50 pm

[23] We old farts think alike, and I agree with ya totally... especially on Manny. Baldelli looks to be too sick to be of much value, but I don't know what he costs.

[25] Certainly, more valuable then having AJ (by like 10 times!).

29 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 17, 2008 6:06 pm

OYF, nah, not old farts (here, anyhow, or in denial!) just sage and weathered and remembering Horace and Chicken Stanley (and Mel!) on the field!

It is an old, old scenario, when a guy we hated on a rival becomes 'ours' and we climb all over each other cheering. May happen with AJ, even. (Though I can't say I hated him, actually, just never liked.) But Manny's a lot of ground to cover to become a fan.

Did you see the Baldelli update on his health? I mentioned it above. Here's the link


30 joejoejoe   ~  Dec 17, 2008 8:01 pm

Is Posada definitely going to be able to throw from C? If not then I think it's crazy to sign Teixeira. Posada has 3 yrs/$39M left on his deal and if he can't throw he needs a position.

31 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 17, 2008 8:02 pm

All the character talk about Manny is hysterical...As has been pointed out, the Yanks in the past signed Sheff, all-time bassbowl Clemens, Boggs the Romeo chicken-man, Damon the adulterer, etc etc etc. outside odf the travelling secretary incident, what exactly is it about Manny that gets people so riled up?? The Boston front office people really are PR geniuses to have made the key part of two championships teams seem like such a cancer...

All that being said, I prefer signing Dunn for 4-5 years to either Manny OR Tex..that contract (years & bread) is just too much..

32 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 17, 2008 8:10 pm

[0] Btw Alex, the title of this post must be from The Who..right?

anyone read Rob Neyer's post on the 2009 geezer Yankees?? good points...

33 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 17, 2008 9:07 pm

OK Jazz, it is a fair question and I'll try for my answer. Boggs and Damon are non-entries in the 'bad guy' category and in fact Damon has been an exemplary teammate, in clubhouse and on field. Never took a day off until utterly forced to. Off-field adultery? A baseball player? Oh my stars and bars! Carve a scarlet letter on him. Boggs was actually a tough acceptance for some, but only because of a BoSox history, and same for Roger (though an element of sticking it to Boston kicked in). As for 'Romeo' ... see oh my stars and bars, above. Sheffield was a hard case, still is, and did wear out his welcome. Played hard too. Clemens ditto. Fans are fairly tolerant of off-field escapades, short of illegality. Remember the Yankees are the team of the wife-swapping story (OYF will remember it, too ... Kekich and Peterson).

Manny, since you asked, is an ON-field diminisher of the sport and his team, if he doesn't FEEL like playing. He quits, he sulks, he gets pseudo-injured, his feelings are hurt to much to run all the way to first. He just LOVES watching long doubles from the batter's box.

Whatever anyone might want to say about, for example, Alex Rodriguez, he shows up 150+ games a year unless seriously hurt, he changed positions to become a Yankee (some say a mistake for the club, yup), and you will never see him dog it. Period.

Can ManRam hit a baseball? Brilliantly. And I expect him to be a first ballot HoFer, given the serious bad apples and mediocrities in the Hall. I just have no desire to see him in pinstripes, and find myself actually having to HOPE he gets a hit.

One more thing ... the BoSox are good at maligning a guy they want to dump, using the media to shift public perception. They didn't HAVE to do it with Manny.

34 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Dec 17, 2008 9:20 pm

Howdy HCE, thanks for the reply. Sorry I was unclear above, I was trying to be sarcastic about the whole "chracter" thing. Got to disagree with you about Manny's "on field" distractionability...look at his actual stats over his last two months with Boston..if that is a distraction, well...it sure beats the Melkman or Nady...Manny isn't the first hotdog in MLb history (and what was Reggie if not a hotdog??) I still prefer Adam Dunn..but Manny is not the cancer he's been portrayed as...

35 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:12 pm

[32] Well said Hoss. The Kekich-Peterson wife swapping was pretty dramatic news for 1973. Poor Scooter had a hard time discussing it in the booth!

[33] I don't want to take a 'Holier than Thou' stance here, but living in RSN, I've watched (on TV) at least 150 Sox games a year throughout Manny's tenure. And if anything, Hoss understates the blemish on baseball that is Manny. The Sox and Boston media always looked the other way with Manny. When his antics couldn't be ignored, they just made light of them. Boston was addicted to Manny's bat, and were not about to rock the boat.

No matter how pissed Francona, the Sox or the media were, ultimately, it was explained as 'Manny being Manny'. No benchings. No suspensions. Even knocking over an old man in anger was overlooked.

Gambling on baseball is considered the cardinal sin. This is because of the fear of players 'throwing' a game. Ultimately, quitting on your team is the ultimate sin. And Manny did this not once, or twice or thrice, but over and over again over a span of 4 years.

You saw him take 3 strikes from Mo without even taking the bat off his shoulder? This is Manny when he doesn't get his way. When he wanted a day off, but Francona needed him on the field, Manny got even. Showboating at his HRs, not running out 'almost homers', jogging to first on grounders and DP balls, not running hard trying to field balls hit in the gap... these are his minor indiscretions. But intentionally sitting out games and making outs intentionally is unforgivable.

It's like funny tragedy. In Manny's last 'injury' he complained of a bad knee, and said he needed to sit out. The Sox were at the end of their rope and uncharacteristically actually ordered Manny to have an MRI on his knee. When they asked him which knee was injured.... he could NOT remember! So they ordered MRIs on BOTH knees. Of course, both knees were fine.

He blackedmailed the Sox, during a penant run, to trade him... by not playing, even with a $20 million contract.

I've seen Manny play over 1000 games. I've watched pregame, postgame shows and the Boston Media for 8 years. He is actually worse then the MM makes him out.

Manny is not stupid. He may even be a 'nice guy'. But he is manipulative scum. He should NEVER be allowed to wear a Yankee uniform.

36 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:13 pm

OK Jazz, I never said 'distraction' though he can be. Many stars are. Alex was a distraction last year, for off-field reasons. That can happen. Nor did I say 'cancer' though some Boston players and fans might have. I said he disrespects the sport and his teammates.

Agreed that Reggie was a huge hot dog (and a distraction, and messed up club chemistry ... though the 70s Yankee winners had LOTS of chemistry issues, starting with Billy, really!)

But not a cancer, not an evil human being. At some risk of having his behavior overshadow his excellence as a batter.

37 Rich   ~  Dec 17, 2008 10:53 pm

The Yankee' dilemma is that Holiday is the only top offensive player who will be a FA following the 2009 season (assuming that he doesn't sign an extension first, and assuming Bay re-signs with Boston), so if they don't sign Teixeira, replacing their aging position players will probably have to be done by trading their excess starting pitching prospects, given that A-Jack is their only near ML ready position prospect.

38 The Hawk   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:11 pm

[30] I forgot about this aspect. They more or less are gonna need 1st base open, for Posada then probably Jeter. That Posada contract is going to become a problem but what could they do?

39 Rich   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:36 pm

I think Posada will have to DH given that his range at 1B will likely be bad as he approaches 40, and Jeter would be better off in the OF because his SLG would make him suboptimal as a 1Bman.

Of course, that's why according to several beat writers, Cash was opposed to giving Posada four years. How the Yankees handle Jeter's contractual situation in two years should be kind of revealing.

40 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:37 pm

[22] Right...you said you didn't want to make the equation, but then you went ahead and did it anyway. Otherwise, there would have been no reason to relate the Pudge/Piazza analogy because defense is paramount behind the plate. Unless you were just throwing that out there as an interesting comment on its own merits, which certainly doesn't seem to be the implication, it definitely appears as if you were drawing a parallel between the defensive value of Pudge and Tex.

I think those making such stark comments about Manny need to brush up on their Yankee history, unless they also want to label guys like Ruth, Mantle, Reggie, Nettles, etc. as manipulative scum.

41 williamnyy23   ~  Dec 17, 2008 11:40 pm

[37] Everyone keeps talking about how deep the Yankees are in pitching prospects, so perhaps it's time to start trading them for offensive players. The Rangers turned Edinson Volquez into Josh Hamilton, so why shouldn't the Yankees look to do the same? If the Yankees really do have a ton of arms, they should be able to swing a deal without even touching Hughes and Joba.

42 Rich   ~  Dec 18, 2008 12:05 am

[41] I agree. The only condition precedent would be ensuring that their values are relatively high, so you would probably want to wait on Kennedy and hope he pitches well at SWB. I would also like to keep Brackman, if possible.

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