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Mark Teixeira out 8-10 weeks with strained wrist

Mark TeixeiraThe New York Yankees have suffered their latest blow entering the season. First baseman Mark Teixeira is out 8-10 weeks with a strained wrist, Jack Curry of YES Network reports.

Teixeira was hurt this week while taking batting practice with the Team USA World Baseball Classic squad. He was sent home from the team, and initial projections had him missing 7-10 days. That has been upped to over two months. The projected timetable reportedly includes four weeks of just rest.

In addition to Teixeira’s injury, the Yankees were already prepared to be without Curtis Granderson for at least the first month of the season. Granderson is about two weeks into his recovery from a fractured forearm sustained when he was hit by a pitch on Feb. 24. He is projected to miss 10 weeks.

As if the injuries to Teixeira and Granderson were not enough, GM Brian Cashman also broke his leg and dislocated his ankle skydiving for charity Monday.

The Yankees embraced a new cost-cutting strategy this offseason with the goal of getting under the luxury tax. Their lack of moves led many to believe this season would be open for a new team in the AL East — and AL in general — to take over. The Toronto Blue Jays seized the perceived opening by making a few signings and big trades. Things appear to be setting up nicely for them or another team in the division to overtake the Yanks this season.

Giancarlo Stanton wows Mark Teixeira, Jimmy Rollins with power at WBC

Team USA held its first official workout on Monday in preparation for the World Baseball Classic, and Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reportedly stole the show. The 23-year-old Stanton is one of the MLB’s brightest young stars. Comments from some of his Team USA teammates, who happen to be some of the game’s best players, reminded us of that.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Mark Teixeira said when asked about Stanton’s batting practice session, via Eye on Baseball. “I’ve played with a lot of guys headed for the Hall of Fame, but I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Stanton reportedly sent towering home runs into the parking lot behind the Arizona Diamondbacks’ spring training facility. The cars were parked well beyond the fence, but the slugger came close to hitting them.

“I think I was OK because my car is in Tampa,” Teixeira said. “Although, with the right wind, he still might be able to hit it.”

Jimmy Rollins was also amazed by the power Stanton displayed.

It’s one thing for the fans and media to talk about how incredible Stanton is, but these are MLB All-Stars who you would think are used to seeing balls fly out of the park. Apparently Stanton stands above all the rest, which isn’t exactly a surprise given his 37 home runs and .608 slugging percentage last year. What is a surprise is that he is only 23, meaning he could be one of the game’s elite players for well over a decade. The Marlins may be listening to offers for Stanton, but they might as well enjoy him while they can. It seems inevitable that he’s going to price his way out of Miami.

Photo credit: Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Mark Teixeira knows he’s overpaid, aging

Mark TeixeiraMark Teixeira gave a thoroughly honest interview to the Wall Street Journal in which he admitted that he is overpaid and aging.

Teixeira signed an eight-year, $180 million contract with the New York Yankees prior to the 2009 season. He has four seasons left under the current deal, and he is scheduled to earn $22.5 million each year.

Though he was one of the most productive first baseman in baseball during his peak, Teixeira’s numbers have consistently dropped the past three seasons. He went from averaging a .942 OPS from 2005-2009 to an .829 OPS from 2010-2012.

Teixeira is turning 33 in April, and he acknowledges he’s on the downside of his career.

“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 told the Journal’s Daniel Barbarisi.

“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.

Teixeira went from being a .290-.300 hitter to posting three consecutive seasons around .250. Rather than attempting to get back to .290 which might be unrealistic, Tex says he is going to concentrate on trying to maximize his strengths: hitting home runs, walking, and playing good defense. The strategy seems sound, but it may lead detractors to say he is not living up to his salary. Teixeira would not disagree.

“I have no problem with anybody in New York, any fan, saying you’re overpaid. Because I am,” Teixeira said. “We all are.”

“Agents are probably going to hate me for saying it,” he told the Journal. “You’re not very valuable when you’re making $20 million. When you’re Mike Trout, making the minimum, you are crazy valuable. My first six years, before I was a free agent, I was very valuable. But there’s nothing you can do that can justify a $20 million contract.”

Players can still justify $20 million contracts, but it’s not easy. Baseball’s free agency system rewards players for what they have done in the past rather than what they will do in the future. That is why Teixeira signed for such a big contract even though the Yankees knew he would be in his 30s for most of it. Did they figure they would get a few more prime seasons out of him? No doubt, but they also knew he would be declining as the years went on.

Teixeira may not be worth the $22.5 million he makes, but he is still an above-average player. His plan to maximize his strengths rather than focus on his weaknesses sounds like one that can help him obtain more value and prove his usefulness to the Yankees.

Forearm bash to Eye on Baseball

Spike Lee ends up with Mark Teixeira’s bat after it flies into stands (Video)

Scary moment at Yankee Stadium on Sunday when Mark Teixeira‘s bat went flying into the stands in the bottom of the first against the Angels. However, fear not, compassionate baseball fans: the lumber managed to avoid hitting anybody. But there to end up with the souvenir: Spike Lee, who appears to be more busy heckling people at New York sporting events these days than making Spike Lee Joints.

Anyway, Spike did a few gratuitous poses with the bat, much to the enjoyment of the rest of the Yankee Stadium crowd. No word if he ended up keeping it, but it’s probably safe to say that bat had more hits than Spike’s had in the last 10 years, AMIRITE?

Vicente Padilla thinks Mark Teixeira is better off ‘playing a women’s sport’

Vicente Padilla and Mark Teixeira don’t like each other. Oil and vinegar. Simple as that. And on Saturday, their over-seven-year spat reached a new level when Padilla publicly questioned Teixiera’s manhood.

“In this sport, as competitive ball players, we get pretty fired up,” Padilla said in a Spanish-language interview translated by NESN, “So I think, maybe, [Teixeira] picked the wrong profession. I think he’d be better off playing a women’s sport.”

Trite as it was, we still enjoy his intent. The remark was in response to comments Teixeira made the night before following the Yankees’ 10-8 win over the Red Sox, a game in which Teixeira drove in the deciding runs with a triple off Padilla in the seventh.

“The guy throws at people, fact of the matter,” Teixeira said, according to ESPN New York. “I’m not saying anything that is news. It is what it is. I’ve always been someone who wants to play the game the right way. You play hard, but you don’t play cheap. I’ve always lived that way, too. Some guys decide to take matters into their own hands. In the NFL, he would probably be suspended by Roger Goodell eight games or a whole season. This is baseball.”

Before their little tiff reached this totally sexist and Roger Goodell-slurping apex, it began in 2005 when Padilla, then with the Phillies, beaned Teixeira after he homered off the pitcher. Their beef persisted even while they were teammates on the Rangers in 2006 and 2007.

“The problem is he talks about all the wrong things that others have done, but the things he’s done — against the Latinos [on the Rangers] — he doesn’t open his mouth about,” Padilla went on. “He once threatened me and said he was going to hit me with a bat, and that’s when we were playing on the same team.”

Of course, this latest dust-up wouldn’t have arisen if master provocateur Bobby Valentine didn’t troll Teixeira by lifting hard-throwing Andrew Miller to have Padilla face him on Friday. Go figure.

H/T Jimmy Traina
Photo: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Even Mark Teixeira Thinks Yankees-Red Sox Games go Too Long

The Yankees and Red Sox are two of the most popular teams in baseball. They routinely pack the house for home and road games and they draw the biggest ratings on TV. They have the best players and they both are extremely successful. Oh yeah, and when they play, their games take forever.

Their games have averaged nearly three and a half hours this season according to the New York Times. Even Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira acknowledges that’s pretty ridiculous.

“It’s brutal. I can’t stand playing a nine-inning game in four hours. It’s not baseball. I don’t even know how to describe it. If I was a fan, why would I want to come watch people sitting around and talking back and forth, going to the mound, 2-0 sliders in the dirt? Four-hour games can’t be fun for a fan, either.”

Maybe the high-powered offenses account for the lengthy games. The longer it takes to get 27 outs on each side the longer the games will last. You also have to factor in how significant each Yankees-Red Sox game is to the teams. Because each game can affect the playoff picture, each manager will make every move necessary to give its team the best chance to win. The result is the fans are stuck watching marathon games. Maybe the solution is what Bucky Dent told us — put pitchers and batters on a shot clock to make them work quicker. That at least would ameliorate the situation.

Forearm bash to NESN for the story

Mark Teixeira, Amare Stoudemire to Make Cameo on Entourage

New York All-Star athletes Mark Teixeira and Amare Stoudemire will be making cameos on the HBO show Entourage, the New York Post reports. On the show, Tex and Amare will be investors in the Italian restaurant Don Peppe.

Don Peppe is a real-life family-style restaurant in New York, and in the show Turtle will be trying to open up an LA location of the restaurant. The Post reports that they’re also in talks with Alex Rodriguez and Carmelo Anthony to appear on the show.

I’m really surprised that of all the Yankees it’s not Derek Jeter who’s appearing on the program. In a 2008 interview with SI’s Jimmy Traina, he said Entourage was one of two shows he had on his DVR. He also said that Drama was his favorite character on the show. Isn’t that the same answer for most people?

via Ben Maller