Do you like Prince? Seriously, are you a fan of the little, purple clad man from Minnesota? I’m not. I FULLY admit that he is extremely talented as a singer, songwriter, performer and producer (HE IS AN ATROCIOUS ACTOR). He is just not my thing.
I change the station when I hear his music playing, and it's my choice to do so. I can see talent and still not be a fan. Mark Teixeira is my Big League equivalent of Prince.
I don’t love Mark Teixeira. That’s it. There is nothing else to say. I cheer for him when he is on the field because he plays for the New York Yankees. I have absolutely admitted being wrong about his fading ability to hit the baseball with power. I recently wrote a piece that clearly stated my faults in targeting Tex too soon. I then stated that I have NO IDEA how much Mark is hurting.
Apparently a reader named pethealer wasn’t a fan of my questioning Tex and needed to call this humble blogger an idiot:
An idiot? I’m not sure if that’s accurate, but I know I’m no coward. You know the type the folks that take “brave” shots at people via the Worldwide Web. Those guys are the best aren’t they? Yes? No? What would I know…I just might be an idiot? I wish him or her or whatever pethealer is, the best with their pet healing and all they have going on. It’s not personal on my end that's for sure."This injury is hardly a "boo boo' you idiot and you must be a real jerk to think that Tex actually wants to sit out these games during this important part of the season."
Many are aware that my favorite Yankee was Paul O’Neill. Sure, he is an Irishman, but it was more than that. Paul was the Warrior. I have a friend who knew many of the guys on the 1996 and 1997 teams. They all said that the hamstring O’Neill played on in Atlanta in the ’96 Series and in the ’97 ALCS game in Cleveland would have been hard to walk on let alone play on. But Paulie did. Is that to say that Mark Teixeira should be more like O’Neill and play through his bone bruise? NO. I am not saying that at all. Mark is clearly hurting. But Tex isn’t like Paulie. That’s all I’m saying. If you disagree that is your right. Do I need to call you an idiot? Nope. Why? It’s because the right you have your opinion. Would anyone ever call Tex a warrior? I doubt it, but believe it if it floats your boat.
Why is it so insane to not be a fan of the Yankee first baseman? Again, he has had a tremendous bounce back season. I WILL NOT WRITE IT AGAIN. He is STILL a defensive whiz! The best goalie in New York behind King Henrik, and I’d pay to see Tex between the pipes. Tex is a really good ballplayer. He has had tough injuries to comeback from, A LOT. I grant him the wrist for sure! What else can I give you to have you rest easy in the knowledge that Mark is great at what he does…when he is on the field.
Recently my friend Jenna Bellezza wrote a piece defending Tex and my right to blast him, though I have hardly been blasting him this year. I appreciate that she is a fan of #25 and backs her guy. If someone was taking O’Neill to the woodshed, I’m sure I’d do the same. But Paulie never needed a “Lawyer”. He didn’t. He was there day in, day out. He fought through injuries and slumps. He was a leader Yankee fans won’t ever forget. Is it unfair to compare the two men? I don’t know…I’m no pet healing, master of the universe. What I’m trying to say is that I just don’t think Tex is a that type of Yankee. That’s all. He is a really good player.
He seems to be a good person and a nice guy…but he’s not my favorite. I don’t wish him harm. Yeah, I like Greg Bird. Should he replace Tex now? No. Will he soon? I think he will.
This is baseball. We chat it up and go back and forth because it’s fun. It’s not personal and it's not supposed to be, EVER. We have our own heroes and villains. We see the action on the diamond through our OWN eyes. Nothing is universally right and nothing is universally wrong when it comes to the fan opinion. That's what BYB brings every day!
Baseball is the American Pastime and it truly is a grand game. Grown men get to be kids for their whole careers. We get to cheer and boo and watch the poetry of 9 innings like listening to our favorite albums. We remember where we were and who we were with when one of the “Boys of Summer” makes history. Baseball is a good thing, maybe the best of things. It’s truly America in every way. It has ups and downs, wins and losses, defeats and comebacks and opinions. All of them passionate, and that is the good stuff.
I’m not going to write about Tex anymore this year. That's it. You all know how I feel about him by now. I hope he returns and helps the Yanks get back to the Post Season and beyond. I will cheer for him to be at his best every game and every at bat. Do I think Mark is a kin to the Yankees of old? Nope. And that’s just one man’s opinion…but I’m an idiot so take it with a grain of salt and enjoy your day.
** Here’s some Prince for my pal the Pethealer. No hard feelings. **
--Mike O'Hara Senior "Features" Writer
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