In the recent game between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, Mark Teixeira seemed to spark the Yankees after being hit in the butt by a pitch. Apparently Teixeira who had been nicked by a pitch earlier in the game became annoyed after being struck a second time.
There seems to be a little history between Tex and staring pitcher Padilla.
When Teixeira faced Padilla (3-3) for the first time on June 9, 2005, he homered in the first and third innings during Texas’ 10-8 loss at Philadelphia. He was later hit by a pitch in the fifth.
“Every time I’ve faced him since, there seem to be balls near my head, near my body, and today I got hit twice,” Teixeira said. “Not the right way to play the game. Unfortunately, you know, that guy has been doing it his whole career.”
When Alex Rodriguez hit an ensuing grounder to second, Teixeira went hard into the Texas shortstop upsetting his return throw to first, allowing the Yankees to stay out of the double play. The Yankees then went on to score seven runs to break the game open.
It's ironic this wake up brings out the passion in Teixeira that is missing in the game in general these days. There are few players left in the game that don't need to get hit by a pitch to play with intensity, a la Pete Rose.
These extremely well-paid players today just seem to go through the motions. Hustle is a thing of the past for most in the big leagues.
Look at how many players such as Alfonso Soriano and Jose Reyes who are extremely talented and gifted players. Both have coasted into second base after thinking they had hit a home run when they might've stretched the hit into a triple.
The younger players watch these major leaguers and follow suit, one reason why the game today has changed, and not for the better.