Mark Teixeira Is Not Like Us...And That's Okay
Mark Teixeira is not human.
You probably think I'm using this statement as a cute jumping-off point to wax poetic on how extraordinarily well Teixeira plays baseball, but you'd be incorrect. What I'm trying to say is, I literally believe that Mark Teixeira is not human.
Think about it. Sure, you've watched him win a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award, but have you ever seen the man blink? According to Wikipedia, "blinking is an essential function of the eye that helps spread tears across and remove irritants from the surface of the cornea and conjunctiva."
What makes Mark Teixeira's conjunctiva different than yours? Cyborg, bro.
I personally try to ignore this rather insane reality. Is it weird that Teixeira could be seen behind the plastic that protected the lockers during the Yankees' World Series celebration? Sure. Is it odd that if you pause your DVR during a typical Kim Jones postgame interview, you can often spot a motionless Tex in the background, plugged into the wall, his eyes glowing red? Um, obviously.
But the Yankees need Teixeira to defend this title. We need to keep this situation on the down-low. Let's approach it like Stoney and Dave in Encino Man: If we can keep this secret about our special friend, he will get us laid win more championships.
Teixeira may be the complete anti-thesis of the last big-name ticket the Yankees brought in to play first base. Jason Giambi couldn't be more human (if you discounted the countless liters of elephant testosterone he regularly shot into his ass).
He was a muscle-bound, fun-loving, mustachioed maniac who stood out on the corporate Yankees like a sore tattoo upon signing with the team in 2001. It took Giambi several years to get comfortable in New York, and by the time that happened, the skills that once made him an MVP had mostly evaporated.
Giambi had some nice moments during his seven-year tenure in the Bronx, but he ultimately came to represent a cautionary tale of the Steroid Era. Buyer beware.
Teixeira seems like the type of guy who wouldn't touch a Snickers bar, let alone a performance-enhancing drug. Giambi crashed and burned as he pushed away from his twenties, but you don't worry about a steep decline for Teixeira, who turns 30 in April. If anything, you can make a case that the switch-hitter will exceed the 39 homers and 122 RBI he compiled in 2009.
Think about it: Teixeira struggled mightily in his first month in pinstripes, clearly pressing and without the presence of the injured Alex Rodriguez hitting behind him. There was also talk of a lingering wrist injury. He batted .200 with just three homers and 10 RBI in April. Fans booed and babies cried and it was generally a bummer.
You know what happened next. A-Rod came back and the switch went off for Teixeira, who exploded in May at a .330/13 HR/34 RBI clip.
Now you put him in familiar surroundings, coming off a World Series win, and with a healthy A-Rod slotted in at the cleanup spot. Teixeira finished a distant second to Minnesota's Joe Mauer in the '09 AL MVP race, but I predict the Yankees' first baseman puts up numbers that even another .380 season by the Twins catcher can't match.
Teixeira has that much potential. That he was swindled out from under the Red Sox's nose may be ultimately remembered as a historic turning point in the rivalry, the event that swung the balance of power back in favor of the Yankees.
It's not exactly Babe Ruth for $125,000 and No, No, Nanette, but the Teixeira signing was a significant game-changer, the stink of which is still all over Boston management. Imagine if it were the Yankees being forced to contend with Teixeira at Fenway Park, as Nick Swisher danced around first base like an injured baboon?
If you just got the chills thinking about that, you're not alone. Luckily, Brian Cashman and the Yankees made the right move, setting the team up for years to come.
Just don't mention the cyborg situation. No sense risking a great thing.
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