Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You're on the Mark! Teixeira gets revenge against Texas

That was an exciting game last night, yes? The two best teams in the American League facing off, and the Yanks are now on top with the best record in the AL, after winning 16 of their last 20 games.

Who would have thought that Yankees-Rangers would have a new version of the infamous Jose Mesa-Omar Vizquel feud? Former teammates Mark Teixeira and Vicente Padilla have some bad blood between them, as evidenced by last night's game.

Padilla hit Tex - twice - and Teixeira was openly irate after the second time. He got his revenge sliding hard into Rangers' shortstop Elvis Andrus to break up a double play, an event Jorge Posada said in the postgame was the turning point of the game.

Dallas Morning News sportswriter Jeff Wilson called that 7-run fourth inning "the biggest of the year against the Rangers." And it was a pivotal inning for the Yanks, too, and not just because of the score. It showed that this team is showing a lot more fire and aggressiveness than we've seen from them in a long time.

When Mark Teixeira (!) is doing a hard slide into second, and screaming his head off in the dugout after Hideki Matsui's homer, that's a different kind of team. And when a Yankee pitcher - A.J. Burnett - is throwing up and in to Nelson Cruz in the next inning (Cruz was a good target because he hit a three-run homer off Burnett earlier in the game), that's a different kind of team as well.

Not to mention Teixeira's postgame comments. Instead of some vanilla denial, the first baseman was very pointed on his thoughts about Padilla:

“I hit home runs in my first two at-bats against him, the third time I got hit. Every time I’ve faced him since there’ve been balls near my head or my body,” Teixeira said. “He’s been doing this his whole career; it’s not the right way to play the game. If you can’t get a guy out, don’t pitch to him. Put down the four fingers and walk him.”

Oh, snap!

Heck, even Padilla's own catcher seemed to approve of what Tex did. Newsday's Ken Davidoff wrote about Jarrod Saltalamacchia's postgame comments:

"I can't speak for Teixeira," Saltalamacchia said. "But if he did it on purpose, then Teixeira had every right to be mad. Burnett had every right to do what he did."

I would love to know what current Texas Ranger Omar Vizquel thinks, given that he was in Teixeira's shoes in his own feud with Jose Mesa.

Incidentally, Padilla has hit 98 batsmen in his career. Very interesting.

A few other thoughts on the game:

* Other than that Nelson Cruz homer, Burnett didn't pitch badly. He also got eight strikeouts in the game. And, most importantly, he's stayed healthy. (Of course, now that I said that, I've probably jinxed him!)

* While it would have been intriguing to see how Josh Hamilton would hit in the new Yankee Stadium, after he put on a show last season in the Home Run Derby at the old ballpark, it's probably good for the Yanks' chances this series that Hamilton just went on the DL with an abdominal strain.

* Two other items of note - Derek Jeter scored his 1500th run, and the Yanks' errorless streak is over at 18 games, due to an error by Posada.

* Still wondering why all the Yankees pronounce Teixeira's name as TEX-sharea - Posada did it in the postgame. What's the story on that?

What did you think of last night's game? Leave us a comment!


Uncle Mike said...

The errorless streak is over -- fully one-ninth of an entire season -- but that's okay. Earlier in the season, I said that the Yankees have no heart. Well, it seemed true at the time. No more: Mark Teixeira has energized this team with no end in sight.

If this is what Teixeira is like in 2009, then we should have done whatever it took to get him after the collapse of 2004, by which point it was clear that Jason Giambi was not going to be what he had been, and Tex had already hit 64 home runs with 196 RBIs. He played every game in 2005 and led the AL in OPS. He played every game in 2006, too -- durability the Yankees haven't gotten from a first baseman since before Donnie Regular Season Baseball hurt his back. His rookie-year OPS was 811 and hasn't fallen below 50 points above that since.

I switched on the radio when I got home last night, and John Sterling mentioned that the Yankees got home from Cleveland at 2:30 in the morning the previous night, and said they must be jet-lagged, because they'd only scored 12 runs.

Hey, if it means the Yankees can score 12 runs on what appears to be a good Texas team, fly me to Cleveland and back, landing at 2:30 AM!

That's 16 out of 20. The Yankees are playing some sick baseball. Speaking of sick, how the Mets doing?

Anonymous said...

I was at the game last night ..lots of fun. I'll be going tonight too and I'm hoping for a win because it's my BDAY !!!! I'll be with my daughter and the Yankees for my Bday ...nothing better than that or me ... :o)


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

errr ...that should read "for me". An old age typo..hahaha


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Anonymous said...

If anyone reads Pete Abe's blog...he mentioned that Jesus is on the way. I always knew God wore a pinstriped robe


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Bostowned said...

This team is different. As a fan, I see a 3 game sweep I immediately think...well lets see how they do in the next series against a better team. Then they sweep them. Then I start thinking...hmm....well I wonder how well they'll respond after they finally lose a series. Will they lose all confidence as Ive seen so many times in the past? Nope, went on to take the next 2 series. After the last 20 games, Im ready to believe that this team isnt the 2004-2008 teams at all. Nothing seems to get them down and break their confidence. Every game appears winnable no matter what the score is or who's on the mound. And last night, when Teixera gets plunked twice and is furious, the team immediately responded.

The biggest upcoming test for this team will be when they play Boston next. Its fun thinking that every other team we play is a joke though haha. Yanks vs Nats in 2 weeks....oh come on. lol.

Lisa Swan said...

Happy birthday, Peggy. Enjoy the game - and let's hope the Yankees win in your honor!

Bklynfan said...

What a great game last night! Loved the fire exhibited by Tex. Can't wait for the TB/RedSox series. Hopefully we can gain more ground. This team seems to be on fire - hopefully they will stay that way. Go Yanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lisa ...Birthday or not ...I just want a WIN !!!


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

The Emperor said...

I can't express how much I love seeing this aggressiveness and intensity with the Yanks this year! I just hope guys on other teams take notice to the fact that this new & imporved Yankee team is not going to tolerate being bullied, and we WILL retaliate and we WILL fight back if necessary.

Yanks are playing with a passion and fire we haven't witnessed in quite a while, and I love how this team is clicking on all cylinders and getting along so well.

As for our next match-up with Boston - keep in mind that when we lost those five games to them earlier this season, we were struggling offensively and our pitching wasn't up to par yet.

This has changed now. The Yankees are playing hot and with swagger. I don't think Boston is going to sweep up anymore this year.

The Emperor said...

One other note: If Padilla is so ready to hit opposing batters, maybe they should trade to his ass to a National League team.

Let's see if he'd be so eager to hit someone when he has to stand in the batter's box himself.

Anonymous said...

You guys are scary!

Happy Birthday Peggy


NAM said...

Happy Birthday Peggy!

And even though it would be bad for Boston, I hope they win tonight just for you!

Enjoy your day,

The Emperor said...

Happy birthday Peggy!! The Yanks BETTER win for you tonight!!

NAM said...

And the way the damn Yankees have been playing lately, I don't think it will be a hard wish to fulfill!

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys & Gals ...

Thanks for the good wishes ...I keep trying to tell myself I'm not getting "older" only "better"...haha. Getting harder to believe that as each year flies by tho'...

The game was fun last night but I'm hoping it's even better tonight...I've had some great bday games. I was in Balti for my bday when Wang got his ONLY save and Johnny D hit a homer in the 10th to win it. Another Bday game was when Alex hit a homer off Pap in the rain at Fenway to win the game (who says Alex isn't clutch Joba made his first start on my bday last year and I was at that game too. I'm hoping something exciting happens tonight but most of all I'm hoping for a Yankee WIN !!!

Nam ..being a Sox fan that's really nice of you to wish a win for me ..THANK YOU !!!!


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

The Emperor said...

"I switched on the radio when I got home last night, and John Sterling mentioned that the Yankees got home from Cleveland at 2:30 in the morning the previous night, and said they must be jet-lagged, because they'd only scored 12 runs."

LOL!! Jet-lagged from Cleveland to New York? What would happen if they had to fly to Japan, go into a coma and score 10 runs?

Uncle Mike said...

Happy Birthday, Peggy. Sadly, the Yankees have never won on my birthday, which I share with Yankee great Bill "Moose" Skowron and -- ugh -- Hall-of-Famer and miserable human being Ty Cobb. But at the rate Bud Selig's going, the World Series might end around Christmas one of these years, so I just might have a shot at it!

Emp: I'm just saying what Sterling said, about the Yanks being jet-lagged. You may have noticed he says some strange things. Like the time the Yankees were in Houston, and he told Charley Steiner that there, at Minute Maid Park, the balls were juiced. Steiner said, "Ah, that's just pulp fiction."

Padilla was in the NL once, with the Phillies. The guys who sat in the 700 Level at the Vet, wearing werewolf masks and calling themselves the Wolf Pack for Randy Wolf, put on sombreros and carried paddles, and called themselves the Padilla Flotilla. They also put up the Schill-O-Meter for Curt Schilling's seasonal strikeouts, and, by the time Citizens Bank Park opened, wore Fu Manchu mustaches for Sal Fasano, as "Sal's Pals."

The Emperor said...

"Happy Birthday, Peggy. Sadly, the Yankees have never won on my birthday, which I share with Yankee great Bill "Moose" Skowron and -- ugh -- Hall-of-Famer and miserable human being Ty Cobb."

Careful, Mike - KM might see this and accuse you of being born on not only the same month and day as Ty Cobb, but the same year! :-)

Oh, I know you were quoting Sterling - actually I was laughing that he said that. I know he was being facetious - even the great beloved Sterling can never be THAT absurd (or can he?).

Paul from Boston said...

Happy Birthday Peggy - enjoy the game!!!

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