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ESPN Headlines Continue To Confuse

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Infielder Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees fouls off a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League Spring Training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 28, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
JerseySenior Analyst IMarch 25, 2009

I stopped by ESPN.com for some reason or another today, only to see a big photo of Mark Teixeira on the its front page. Below was a caption and a link to an article. The headline:

"Reggie Jackson didn't just love New York. He was New York. He still is. Will Mark Teixeira be the one to live up to the legend?"

Pardon me, but can we take this back a step or two?

"Reggie Jackson didn't just love New York. He was New York."

Look, Reggie was a great player, especially in the postseason, but I think this takes it a bit too far. Mickey Mantle was New York. Reggie Jackson? He was always feuding with his manager and his owner and suchlike. He may have been a really good player, but his presence in New York wasn't entirely well-received.

Fact is, Reggie played all of five seasons in New York. That's not insignificant—and he did have his number retired—but it's not like he was a long-time Yankee. To say he, above many other players, loved New York is a little odd. Hell, Jason Giambi lasted seven seasons here. The anemic Carl Pavano managed four. Five seasons in New York can leave an impression, but to say he WAS New York... well, that's a stretch.

"He still is."

You lost me here. Still? Have you ever heard of someone named Derek Jeter? But even before the Captain rose to prominence, Reggie Jackson was not the face of this city. Have you ever heard anyone say, "New York: home of the Empire State Building, pizza, and Reggie Jackson?" No, Reggie is not New York. Derek Jeter is.

"Will Mark Teixeira be the one to live up to the legend?"

The legend? The legend of Reggie Jackson? Is this a movie?

But whatever. Onto the article. The truth is, the premise isn't awful: the author, Howard Bryant, equates Jackson to Teixeira as big-name acquisitions. Jackson, Bryant claims, was the last big name player the Yankees brought in who actually worked out. Others, like Giambi and Alex Rodriguez, did not. Will Tex live up to Reggie's legend?

But while the premise is nice in thought, it's simply untrue. Bryant contends that not one big-name player has panned out since Reggie. Alas, he mentions two players in his own article that ruin his own claim: Dave Winfield and Alex Rodriguez.

Ideal players? Not entirely. But they performed well upon coming to the Yankees. And while A-Rod has had his own share of off-field issues, Reggie was no model citizen either.

Well, today must have been a slow news day if this was ESPN's top story. It's not news by any means, the headline is puzzling.

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