Thursday, August 20, 2015
PREPARING FOR MARK TEIXEIRA'S EXIT
Yesterday was nothing short of magical. Greg Bird has found his wings, and he is soaring right now....and I am enjoying every bittersweet moment. The baby bombers are finally getting their chance to shine in the organization. It's a nice change. It's made me enjoy this season even more. The more excited I get by it the more I realize that things are changing and soon I will have to accept a major change on the team.
No surprise to all of you, but I am openly a big Mark Teixeira fan. I have been since the very beginning. I have stuck by his side through the highs, like 2009 and the many lows like... every year up until now. Even through the many lows, I have defended him. I have never abandoned him even though I have given him some tough love at times read I GOT TEIXEIRA'S BACK NO MATTER WHAT! He has flaws, but I accept them. Next year will likely be his last year in pinstripes. As this season comes closer to the end I am starting to accept this and reminisce. Don't be fooled though because this will be a LONG process for me.
There are certain players that leave a mark on us forever. Of course there is the obvious choice of the Core Four because that will probably never be seen again and they were elite players. For me though, Tex is going to be up there. I have always admired and appreciated him on and off of the field. I love his attitude and professionalism. I appreciate how stern he comes across. A lot of people do not like that, but I always looked at him as a strong, silent giant. I have admired him so much thought the years I treat a signed baseball I got from him as a priceless possession, one that cant be replaced.
He also inspired me to start playing softball. He makes playing first base look so easy and it's not. Trust me, I tried. I started off at first and ended up moving to second base. He makes everything look so easy and effortless. Offensively, he has a gift of hitting from both sides of the plate. When I first started watching baseball I was fascinated with switch hitters. It's a gift, and it takes a lot of practice to use that gift effectively.
For years now I have written pieces for BYB about how we need to focus on our farm system and start developing from within instead of paying for older, overpriced superstars. I have been waiting....and waiting. Suddenly, here comes Bird. Last year I got to watch him up close and personal for the first time at the Arizona Fall League. Like Tex, first impression was that he is quiet and sure footed. He didn't come across as awkward. He looked... natural and comfortable. Fast forward to almost a full year later and here he is playing in the Bronx! A lot can change in less than a year.
I am happy that Bird is here and making a name for himself. Yesterday was a big day for him. Good things are happening to this kid and quickly. Saturday was his first major league hit and now he hits two home runs in a game. That's huge, and the curtain call he got from the crowd proves that the fans are behind him. When the time comes the Yankees won't need to go out and sign a big name like they did when we signed Tex.
Now I guess I know how Tino Martinez or Don Mattingly fans felt after they watched their players step out of the spotlight. I know it is a good thing. The Yankees have a young, confident player in the making here and I have been screaming for this for years. I am getting what I asked for! It's just very ironic. I am really taking a liking to Bird. As hard as it is for me to admit, it is true. How could I not? I even went so far as to admit it to both Casey and O'Hara this week....and believe me when I say it was hard for me to do!
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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