Finally, Mark Teixeira ended his career as a news-making free agent and signed with the New York Yankees for $180 million over eight years. Of course, he’d probably have signed with Satan for $181, but fortunately the Dark Lord doesn’t have a team. Teixeira can now wear his pinstripes with pride. He’s getting well paid for the privilege. One can only guess where he will ultimately fit in the great tradition of Yankee first basemen.
Certainly, he will not match Lou Gerhig. But then who could? Teixeira will be better than the Giambino or Tino Martinez, no disrespect to Martinez, who actually captured rings with the Bronx Bombers. The Hangover finds an eerie paralell with Texeira and Yankee great Don Mattingly. At first glance, this comparison should make Yankee fans happy. Like Tex, Mattingly was an excellent fielder who could hit the hell out of the ball. But Mattingly never tasted post-season champagne, the Yankees losing the one playoff series that he was involved in (despite his hitting .417). Teixeira hit well in his one playoff series, too, batting .467. His fearsome spraying of singles didn’t do much for his Angels, however, as they got their ass kicked by the Red Sox.
The great Yankee teams of the ’90’s were exactly that, teams, with the main cogs coming up through the Yankee system (Jeter, Posada, Rivera, etc..,). If buying your way to the Championship worked, the Yankees would have won last year, or the year before that, or the year before that, and so on. You get the point.
Let’s not overlook the karma factor, either. The Yankees still have the greatest choker in modern baseball history, A-Rod. Maybe the pressure comes with a little more force when you’re cashing in at 20 million-plus and your name isn’t Manny Ramirez. Good luck to Teixeira, who, if he feels like it, can drown future post-season failures with Thomas Jefferson’s bottles of Lafite-Rothschild. Like Mattingly, Teixeira’s Octobers will also end short of the bubbly.
And before the Red Sox and their fans start whining about the big spending ways of the Yankees, all they have to do is think of the Nationals or the Pirates or the Brewers. To those teams, the Red Sox might as well be the Yankees.
In the end, the Red Sox will be okay. They’ve still got two World Series MVP’s left, each making about half of what Teixeira and A-Rod bring home. Funny how that works.