Friday, June 12, 2009

Teixeira Taking Heat off A-Rod

Can anyone imagine where the Yankees would be right now without Mark Teixeira?

Alex Rodriguez is hitting just a shade over .230 with eight home runs in mid-June. Granted he is coming off of an injury that cost him roughly half of the season so far, but without Teixeira's obscene production (he just hit his 20th home run of the season off Livan Hernandez) it is hard to imagine Rodriguez struggling this quietly.

Given the steroids questions, the unflattering mirror-kissing imagery and the nasty Selena Roberts book, the New York media has been relatively forgiving of Rodriguez's sub-par play thus far.

A-Rod's production hasn't been terrible so far. The home runs and RBI's have been coming, but the perennial All-Star has yet to look comfortable at the plate. It is obvious that his pitch recognition isn't where it usually is at this point in the season. It is also clear that he is not yet comfortable enough at the plate to hit the ball to the opposite field. But short of the Yankees' inexplicable inability to beat the Boston Red Sox so far this year, the team has looked dominant without their marquee player.

It is scary to think what this offense will look like once Rodriguez really gets cranking, assuming he does because of his flat-out historical greatness. The Hall of Fame debate is to be held at a later date, but it is hard to argue the supremacy of the enigmatic #13. Hopefully Rodriguez can get his balance in the box before Teixeira slows down and exposes his struggles.

1 comment:

  1. Texeira is the best the Yankees have had at first since Mattingly's glory years. Even in his long April slump, his fielding was superb. I remember him winning one game by throwing a runner out at third. How often do first basemen do that? More recently it was largely lost in the thumping Luis Castillo took for his dropped pop up that gave the Yanks a win over the Mets in the Subway Series, that Texeira was running full out on an infield pop up. Are there 5 players in baseball that would have been running like that in that situation? Texeira is among the best all round players I've ever seen, far better that ARod.