Again we find ourselves with little to report on the baseball front. Aside from today’s earlier postings about Roger Clemens and Joba Chamberlain and Trevor’s wrap up on the Dominican winter leagues, we have some more things to read about.
First up, Kat O’Brien at Newsday has some tidbits. One about Teixeira and another about Pettitte:
Mel Didier, a veteran Rangers scout who has known Teixeira since he was drafted, thinks his transition will be seamless. “You never know how somebody will react to that environment in New York,” Didier said, “but I think Mark will be fine. I really do. He’s a very focused individual, and he really wants to win.”
Didier praised Teixeira’s patience at the plate, as did Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Didier said Teixeira should drive in anywhere from 100 to 140 runs, depending on who hits in front of him. Jaramillo talked about how the switch-hitting Teixeira has improved at the plate by studying opposing pitchers and better learning his swing.
Offensively, Teixeira has the strengths of both Abreu and Giambi. He boasts a high on-base percentage (.410 in 2008), walked even more than he struck out in 2008 and is the home run threat that Giambi was when healthy.
A Yankees official said nothing has been decided on Andy Pettitte. He said chances are less than 50-50 that Pettitte will be back, “but not a lot less.” It all depends on whether the Steinbrenners want to add $10 million or more to the payroll for Pettitte, given that they just committed $423.5 million to Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira.
It’s comforting to know more and more professionals think Tex will be just fine in New York. I know he will be. Anyone who grows up idolizing Mattingly like my brother and I did will fit in well. We all also know Tex is an offensive asset, and if he hits in front of A-Rod (and Posada/Matsui), he will help bring home some runners.
On the Pettitte front, there’s nothing new except the wording that it’s “not much less” than 50/50.
Next, we have this Tex peiece by Oren Yaniv of the Daily News. According to Yaniv’s article, Tex is a player with deep roots to his hometown, his high school friends, and is devoted to the big city life and charitable causes. In 2006, Tex was one of the few dozen players who had pink bats on Mother’s Day, a cause close to his heart as his own mother went through her own battle against breast cancer. Tex has also donated several tens of thousands of dollars towards youth programs and scholarships. The more I hear about Tex, the more I am glad the Yankees went out for him. Of course, all of that could change if he doesn’t produce offensively, but Tex gives the Yankees an public relations asset to go along with Derek Jeter.
Last, a piece on boston.com by Nick Cafardo says that the Manny Ramirez-to-New York news won’t die.
Ramirez is next up for Boras. By Teixeira signing with the Yankees, it likely eliminated Ramirez from going there, though the drama of Ramirez vs. the Red Sox and the ratings bonanza that would mean for YES (let alone NESN) is still tugging a tad at the purse strings of some members the Yankees’ brass.
Sure, the Yankees would love nothing more than to give it to the Sox by taking Ramirez (and after stealing Damon in 2005 and Tex last week), it is not a realistic option for the Yankees to add another 2-3 year contact for possibly $75 million. The Yankees have everything they need, except a good centerfielder. I’m okay with where the Yankees stand right now with Cabrera and Gardner and would prefer to stick with it the way it is.