When there isn’t much Yankees news during the offseason, I usually skim through different sports websites to find something interesting to read about the Yankees. I happened to be on the Wall Street Journal website, reading old Yankees news in case I missed something, when I stumbled upon an article about Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. The article was written two weeks ago, but with all the Alex Rodriguez, Joe Girardi, Robinson Cano, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera news, Teixeira’s post was unfortunately pushed aside.
The article is unique from other articles as the story is told from Teixeira’s point of view. It was an article where for about 400 words you were able to nitpick his brain and find out how he was emotionally during the 2013 season. Here’s an excerpt from the article, discussing how Teixeira felt watching the Yankees on television while gaining great appreciation for Yankees fans.
When the team goes on the road, I don’t travel with the team. When we’re winning, I tend to watch more. If we’re losing, I tend to turn the TV off. I think that’s the fan in me. I have a greater appreciation for our fans, how they live and die with every pitch, get frustrated when we lose, get really excited when we win. It’s funny: I’ll see people out, and after a two-game win streak, they say we’re destined for the World Series. After two losses, they say we should dismantle the team and start over
While Teixeira gained respect for Yankees fans, he continued to feel guilty about not being there for his team on the field. As a competitor and a baseball player, there’s nothing more frustrating for Teixeira than to sit on the sidelines and do absolutely nothing. Here’s Teixeira discussing what it felt to be a spectator:
You feel—embarrassed may not be the right word, but you feel a little guilty for not being out there with your teammates. I always prided myself on being out there and grinding things out for my team and my teammates. I see guys doing the same things: getting treatment, getting stretched, playing through bumps and bruises. And I’m sitting here watching TV, flipping through the paper, having a sandwich. It’s not a good feeling. You’re in the way.
Teixeira did admit that there was some good to come out of his injury: he’s was able to sit back for multiple months and think about the direction he would like to take his career. Here’s one final excerpt:
It’s been a good time for reflection on what I’ve done for the first 10 years of my career—but also what I plan to do for the last few years of my career.
I pushed my body very hard for a long time. Then my body put the brakes on me for a year. It said, ‘Take some time off; fix what’s broken,’ and hopefully in doing that, I’ll be better for the last part of my career.
It’s unrealistic for me to think I’m going to get better and keep playing for 10 more years. But do I plan on being a 30 [homer]-100 [RBI] guy with a Gold Glove? Absolutely.
With 2013 behind Teixeira, he could finally come to Spring Training healthy and ready to play. He might want to be careful though–I doubt he would like to repeat the 2013 season all over again.