Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bracing ourselves for Teixeira's inevitable terrible start

It used to be the migraine rite of April: Mark Teixeira, looking awful. He'd go 0 for twentysomething, and as Yankee fans tasted the loaded Luger, the coaches winked and said, "No problem." They'd be right. We'd be wrong. Come September, he'd have his 35 HRs, give or take 40 digits on an ever-dwindling batting average. Mark Teixeira would suck in the spring, get hot in the summer.

That was then. This is now. These days, April could make us feel like passengers on Air Malaysia. Tex is still wrestling his wrist into shape, and the season opener looms like an iceberg on the horizon. The truth is, we will never feel secure about that wrist - not in April, not in October - ever again. It tweaked once, and it can go again. And if it does, dear God, Option B is named Russ Canzler.

So beware, folks: The looming month of April, where Tex traditionally sucks - healthy or not. He is a notoriously slow starter, the kind who needs four weeks to tune his swing. This year, those four weeks could become six. Considering that Tex is still behind other hitters, it could take him late May. But it won't be like past Aprils, when we're sure he'll start hitting. This year, all bets are off.

I'm just saying it, so it's out there. We will have to keep faith in Tex through a tough month of April. Frankly, we have no choice.

The Yankees need a good start to the 2014 season. McCann, Ellsbury and Beltran are all new to the NYC buzzsaw, and that's another ugly spring tradition: Slow starts for big name Yankee free agents. Two years ago, a horrible spring doomed the mighty Redsocks, the team that was comparing itself to the 1927 Yankees. Girardi has more going for him than Bobby Valentine. But our pitchers may have to carry us for the first five weeks. And the most important man in the lineup - the one who is not Russ Canzler - will probably be cold as ice.

We had better be careful before we peddle a Phelps, a Warren or a Vidal. They might be our best hope to avoid a Bobby V month of April. 


Anonymous said...

Given Tex's age and recent medical history, his inevitable lousy start will exemplify T. S. Eliot's line, "In our beginning is our end."

John M said...

Hey, remember the other day when Anonymous said this?

"This Yankee front office and team are beyond sarcasm--they inspire reverence for the sheer abject stubborn incompetence and stupidity of the whole enterprise."

And now this one above about Tex.

Sonofabitch, the guy is on the beam lately.

This will be a good year to visit Citifield.