"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

“There’ Nothing You Can Do That Can Justify a $20 Million Contract.”

Nice piece on Mark Teixeria by Daniel Barbarisi the other day in the Wall Street Journal:

“I looked at the first six or seven years of my career, I was in my 20s, it was easy. I wasn’t searching for the right formula. To think that I’m going to get remarkably better, as I get older and breaking down a little bit more, it’s not going to happen,” Teixeira said.

That makes sense. It’s the way it’s supposed to work: The years affect us all, and that is starkest for those who age in front of our eyes. But in baseball, where every player arrives at spring training having found the panacea that will make this the best year of their career, to hear a star player acknowledge the obvious sounds downright alien.

“Maybe I’m slowing down a tick. Look, I’m not going to play forever. Eventually you start, I don’t want to say declining, but it gets harder and harder to put up 30 [homers] and 100 [RBI],” Teixeira said.

This winter, Teixeira is accepting his new normal. After three seasons that for him would be considered down years, Teixeira is done tinkering with new ideas, done chasing a perpetual peak. If he is a .250 hitter, so be it. He is embracing his strengths—30-homer power, 90-walk patience, Gold Glove defense—and forgetting his weaknesses, on what he openly calls the backside of his career.

“This is my 11th year,” Teixeira said. “I’m not going to play 10 more years. I want 5 or 6 good ones. So that would say I’m on the backside of my career. And instead of trying to do things differently on the backside of my career, why not focus on the things I do well, and try to be very good at that?”

There’s more, too. Check out the entire piece.

[Photo Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger]


1 monkeypants   ~  Feb 4, 2013 11:24 am

A truly excellent piece. Watching Cashman squirm trying to justify what is obviously a bad contract is an added bonus.

2 The Mick536   ~  Feb 4, 2013 6:51 pm

Sounds defeatist to me. Just hard to remember a moment when he got a hit the Yankees needed. Lots of first basemen do what he does. Just what the Yankees need. Another once-was-good player, though several have left.

A friend's son told me that he loved to play baseball. I asked him what position he liked to play. "DH," he said. I told him not to tryout for the Yankees.

3 Boatzilla   ~  Feb 4, 2013 7:25 pm

[2] I think that's a great attitude. He's going to be the best he can be. As Josey said, "A man's got to know his limitations."

4 JeremyM   ~  Feb 4, 2013 11:13 pm

[3] That was Dirty Harry actually, in Magnum Force. :) Josey Wales was filled with great quotes but that wasn't one of them!

5 Boatzilla   ~  Feb 5, 2013 2:18 am

[4] Ooops. Good catch. For some reason I always associate that quote with Josey Wales.

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