I remember a time when I was younger and I would have such blind faith in every athlete that donned the Yankee uniform. When a player struggled mightily, I cheered that much harder for him to do well. I’m 27 now (I know, still young) but Mark Teixeira is very slowly turning himself into a very unlikeable ballplayer. For their money, the New York Yankees have gotten one elite year out of “Tex.” The version that we have seen from 2010 until now, is not the version that the Yankees signed up for. This version is certainly not worth over $20Million a year.
Now, it is unfair to expect the type of half seasons he put up with the Atlanta Braves & Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim if you hit Pasadena you’ve gone too far. Personally, I was expecting closer to the numbers he put up with while he was with Texas. Although, the 2008 he had with Atlanta would fall under that umbrella, as well. This version of Teixeira refuses to make the necessary adjustments to return to elite form. Now, we are all succumbed to a hitter that will either hit a homer, groundout to second, or pop-out weakly to the infield. We’ve gone from seeing a hitter with a high 300 OBP to one that is maxing out mid-300. We’ve gone from a hitter whose OPS is in the high 800s-low 900s to low-mid 800. For the advanced statistic fans, he is 12th among Major League First Basemen in wRC+ and 7th among the ones in the American League. Basically, there are no statistics out there that can defend Tex’s lack of production.
Now, his severely underwhelming performance on the field aside, let’s talks about Tex and his constant excuses, shall we? How many times throughout the year did we hear about him feeling under the weather whenever he was struggling? Whether it was his wrist or his respiratory issue, there was always something handy. In 2004, Jason Giambi was diagnosed with a benign tumor to which he missed most of the season. He only played 80 games and we still heard no excuses about his lack of production. Players are sore, sick, and just feeling miserable all of the time. It is a long, brutal season yet Teixeira always feels the need to point out just how poorly he is feeling. Even if that was all true, man up and just deal with it. I am sick to death of the constant excuses from this guy. What are his excuses for the numbers he put up last year? How about in 2010?
If it isn’t some phantom physical ailment, another one is “Oh, he’s just a slow starter!” Interesting, if you look at the breakdown this year, he’s had one vintage Tex month. He’s not just a slow starter; he’s nothing special when he gets going either. Not this version anyway. Maybe if Tex would stop being so stubborn and adapt to the game that has clearly adapted to him, he could make this contract somewhat tolerable.