Sunday, December 29, 2013
WHAT'S TEIXEIRA DOING TO PREP FOR 2014?
You can’t turn the TV, radio or any type of social media on without being bombarded with commercials for gym memberships, holiday fitness packages or weight loss resolution ideas. I am sure you have already selected your fitness goals for the new year as have I, but I am wondering…what is Mark Teixeira doing?
“After an off-season spent changing his workout routine and losing weight in an effort to improve his batting average, Mark Teixeira was hitting .188 with only two extra-base hits through the Yankees’ first eight games,” according to a New York Times article back in 2012. I suppose he tried to ramp up his fitness and head start his season with his participation in the World Baseball Classic this past season but that got him no where. “Teixeira was hurt while hitting off a tee March 5, when he was with the U.S. team at the World Baseball Classic. He made his season debut May 31, then came out of a game June 15 because of inflammation. He went back on the disabled list and did not respond to a cortisone shot,” according to the Times. Eventually, he had surgery in June ending his summer, a Yankee season riddled with injuries and set-backs. Hurt by hitting off a tee? How’d that happen? So, again, I ask, what’s up with Teixeira? Can he start with a blast this spring?
“Tex will turn 34 in April. Officials have said his bum wrist has recovered well, and shouldn't be a problem entering the 2014 season,” according to an article on NJ.com. As a matter of fact, Toronto Blue Jay heavy hitter, Jose Bautista, had the same surgery and came back into the mix swinging mightily, so there is hope for Tex yet. However, Tex says he’s not there yet. According to MLB.com this week Teixeira says, “I'm close to 100 percent," Teixeira said. "I feel like I'm healed. I wish I was a little bit looser; my wrist is going to be tight for a while because of the way the surgery was performed. They had to kind of tighten everything up to make it secure. It's still a little bit tight, but that's why I'm doing rehab every day and doing exercises every day. I'll start swinging a bat in January and that will also help loosen it up." My issue is that he is always; notoriously slow to get going and the announcers report that year after year like it is okay. It’s not okay. And this year it will be, “well he just came off of wrist surgery, so it is going to take some time for him to loosen up. What? You had surgery in June. Really?
When I have a race, I begin with an end in mind to coin a line from Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I set goals, I watch what I eat, I get good sleep and I work very hard. And I am not saying that Tex doesn’t but something is just not right. Either he needs better trainers in the off-season or he just doesn’t have it anymore. Maybe he doesn’t’ have the work ethic to remain competitive in today’s game. Actually, I hope it is just as simple as firing his trainers, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about him. But is anyone else?
According to MLB Network, in their recent report entitled Contender or Pretender? , there seems to be “a lot of what ifs for the Yankees.” The network does predict Sterling bellowing a lot of “Thaaa Yankees win!” calls but these are all contingent on two simple words or one hash tag #StayHealthy. In their report, they cite the Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury deals as extraordinary, the Cano deal a good idea, Jeter as up in the air and Rodriguez as unknown. They never once mentioned Teixeira and to me, that’s not a good sign. It is like he doesn’t matter. It is like he is not even here.
So, my shout out to Teixeira is simply this: “I know you are here. I want you to kick some butt this year, Mark. Do what you need to do to ramp up your fitness, work on your arm strength, hand/eye coordination and whatever else you need to do be at your best, and be a major contributor of the Yankee run for the pennant in 2014.” If we could get a great start from Mark, we could really start the spring with a bang! Oh, yes, Mark, begin with an end in mind and give it all you have and then give more!
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
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