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News of the Day – 12/27/08
Posted By Diane Firstman On December 27, 2008 @ 9:38 am In Diane Firstman,News of the Day | Comments Disabled
Here’s hoping your holidays were filled with joy and baseball … and now, on to the news:
“We all know with multiyear contracts the risk you take, but if you’re going to take one on a position player, he’s certainly one you strongly consider,” said former Yankees manager Buck Showalter, who managed Teixeira with Texas. “He’s going to stay healthy, he’s not going to embarrass you on or off the field. He’s a clean, solid citizen.” …
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say a bad word about him,” said Jason Basil, a former college teammate. “He came in to Georgia Tech highly touted, and when that happens you kind of expect the guy to have a little bit of an attitude, but it never happened. I think anybody who he ever played with considers him a friend to this day.”….
“His dad was a Navy pilot, and that kind of discipline rubs off on anybody,” said former Blue Jays manager Buck Martinez, who became friends with Teixeira two years ago during the World Baseball Classic. “Just look at Mark. He looks like he could have gone to the Naval Academy with the way he takes care of himself, the close-cropped hair.”…
“Mark can do so many things with the bat and he’s a Gold Glove first baseman, but his ability to fit in with any situation is really an asset for him,” Martinez said.
“He’s not going to let you in too deep,” Showalter said. “[Because of his time at] Georgia Tech [and] a military background with his dad, he understands the professional part and the business part of the game. He’s not led around on a nose ring by [Boras]. Mark knows there is a time for business and a time for baseball.”
Dave Eiland referred to Chien-Ming Wang as the No. 3 starter in a story Pete Caldera did for The Record . Labeling starters is a fruitless exercise. But it’s further evidence of how little respect the Yankees give Wang.
The Yankees took Wang to arbitration last year to avoid paying him an extra $600,000. And now Eiland is dismissing him as a No. 3 starter. Memo to Eiland: Wang is 46-15 with a 3.74 ERA since the start of the 2006 season. Burnett is 38-26, 3.94. Wang’s career ERA+ is 117. Burnett is at 111. …
In time, people will figure out that Wang’s sinker makes him the exception to the idea that a great pitcher has to strike a bunch of guys out. If the Yankees don’t, another team will once he becomes a free agent.
The Red Sox obviously wanted Teixeira. They’ve got an immense amount of money to spend, and there aren’t actually many players worth spending it on. Teixeira is worth it, and the Red Sox know the math a lot better than I do. So, of course, they wanted him.
Needed, though? Hardly. Last season, the Red Sox outscored both the Rays and the Yankees handily, and (more impressively) they led the American League in OPS in road games. The Red Sox featured a championship-quality attack in 2008, and figure to do the same in 2009.
And then, of course, there’s young Lars Anderson, who just turned 21 and has already spent half a summer tearing up the Double-A Eastern League. The odds are against Anderson becoming anything like Mark Teixeira; few prospects do. But there is a considerable chance that Anderson will, in four or five years, be (roughly) as good as Teixeira.
The Red Sox wanted Teixeira, I think, because he was the best player out there, and next winter the free-agent crop will be exceptionally thin. …
[My take: Well, one of their corner infielders (Lowell) is 35 and coming off surgery to repair the labrum in his hip (successful surgery ... but hip surgery on a 35-year-old corner infielder nonetheless). Youkilis could certainly slide over to third base, but he is a very good fielder at first (2007 GG winner). Ortiz's wrist and general body type would seem to point towards a quick decline in production in the coming years. Perhaps an equally-important reason to acquire Teixeira would be one of the same reasons the Yankees signed him ... to keep him away from their arch-rival.]
[My take: Whitson actually performed slightly better at home than on the road during his only full season with the Bombers:
Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS Home 12 292 274 33 83 15 3 7 13 39 .303 .336 .456 .792 Away 18 413 376 67 118 22 2 12 30 50 .314 .361 .479 .839]
See you all Monday ...
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URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2008/12/27/news-of-the-day-122708/
URLs in this post:
 Post’s: http://www.nypost.com/seven/12252008/sports/yankees/teix_is_quintessential_boss_player_145757.htm
 NPR.com: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98740884
 LoHud: http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2008/12/26/baseball-takes-a-holiday-break/
 in a story Pete Caldera did for The Record: http://www.northjersey.com/sports/yankees/36738149.html
 MLB.com’s: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081221&content_id=3724702&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb&partnerId=rss_mlb
 MLB.com: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081226&content_id=3728705&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy
 ESPN’s: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3793282&type=blogEntry
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