Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mark Teixeira: Hometown Boy

Mark Teixeira has signed with the New York Yankees.

Let me be the first to say....THANK GOD!

Andy MacPhail:

"The player was an exceptional player, and we sort of broke the rules trying to go after him. But really, the model that we have to follow just doesn't allow us to devote that much of our resources to one player, at least not at the present time."

He is correct. Going after Teixeira was not part of the plan that MacPhail laid out when he came to town. Build from within, focus on pitching and build a solid core before filling holes through free agency. This team is nowhere near the place where it can afford a long term, budget busting contract. You can take those kind of risks if you think you are only a year or two from serious contention. The Orioles cannot say that yet.

A long expensive contract, like the one the Yankees offered, could actually hurt this team in the long run.

Do you think the Rockies are happy that they still owe Todd Helton more than $50 million over the next three seasons? The Rockies signed him to a lucrative 9 year deal before the 2003 season. (Coincidentally, before Helton's age 29 season...just like Teixeira...) That deal looked good for the first three seasons. Not so much since. Long term deals with players approaching 30 rarely turn out very well.

And let's get one thing straight; Mark Teixeira is a very good player...but he is not a great player. He's just not. Compare his career thus far to Todd Helton, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Albert Pujols or even Chipper Jones. Teixeira just hasn't put together the monster seasons for his resume that these premier sluggers have/had by this point in their careers. And I've heard enough of this Gold Glove caliber defense Teixeira plays. Big deal. He's a first baseman. If his glove was really that hot, he'd play third. A slick fielding first baseman in modern baseball is a nice luxury but hardly impactful in any meaningful way.

I've been beating this drum for awhile now
but I don't think Mark Teixeira is worthy of being one of the highest paid players in baseball. I just don't. $22.5 million a year. Think about it. You know I'm right.

I've seen this guy up close here in Atlanta. He can be an impact bat but once the losing starts, he begins to lose interest. Think he's going to stay interested if the O's keep losing for a season or two? And there's this from Ted Robinson in L.A.:

the Angels were 66-40 (.622) BEFORE Teixeira, 34-22 (.607) WITH Teixeira. Atlanta was 49-56 with Teixeira and for the record he has played in exactly one All-Star Game.

He's a nice player but he's not the kind of player who can carry a team. Even teams with far more pieces in place than the Orioles.

I am so often wrong in my predictions so I have to reach back to last February when I made this bold prediction:

I'll call it now. If Teixeira leaves Atlanta, he'll be wearing pinstripes in 2009.

Not exactly going out on a limb but far more accurate than Buster Olney or Peter Gammons!

I'll leave you with some choice Mark Teixeira quotes from the past year or so...

There are a lot of teams you may not want to be traded to, but Atlanta was definitely a team I was happy to come play for. I was here for college at Georgia Tech, and even spent a year (living) here after college. That made the comfort level that much greater. My wife, Leigh, and her family are from (Georgia, Habersham County north of Atlanta), and we both went to school here and still have friends living in Atlanta.
- Teixeira on playing in Atlanta

That would really be a dream come true.
- Teixeira on playing for Baltimore, March 2007

The Orioles are close to my heart.
- Mark Teixeira, May 2008

In a year and a half, we'll have some fun conversations. Baltimore, obviously in the future, is a place I'd love to look at.
- Mark Teixeira, July 2007

I thought I'd be here the rest of my career. I really wanted to stay here, but business is business, and it's time for me to move on.
- Mark Teixeira on his time in Atlanta

(They're) the best team in baseball.
- Mark Teixeira on the Anaheim Angels

BallHype: hype it up!


fwbaseball said...

I agree with you fully. What a foolish signing!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Now I really, really, really hate him!

Great post!