Monday, February 4, 2013

Stand-up Tex admits his shortcomings

I’ve always liked Mark Teixeira and this weekend I got a good reminder of why.

Tex is a real stand-up guy, even when he struggles, so it’s easy to root for him. But my admiration grew after I read an interview he gave to the Wall Street Journal where he freely admitted that he is overpaid and not the same player he was when he was younger. The article is a must read, if only because it is so unusual for a baseball player to be so blunt about his own shortcomings. But Tex shouldn’t be too hard on himself. He makes many valuable contributions to the New York Yankees, including driving in a lot of runs and making plays that few other first basemen can.

Unlike Alex Rodriguez, his colleague on the other side of the baseball diamond, Tex recognizes the absurdity of the mega-deal that pays him $20 million a year to play baseball while a superstar kid like Mike Trout earns considerably less. The fact that Tex is so honest about that and so willing to share his wealth deserves praise. In fact, he put $1 million of his own money toward a $10 million campaign on behalf of Harlem RBI and I was inspired to kick in a donation to the organization myself (well short of $1 million, but I’m sure it was appreciated).

Tex has heard his share of boos at Yankee Stadium, but he’s never been treated with an ARod-level of disdain despite being similarly wealthy and also struggling at times in the Bronx. But that’s because he’s a lot more likable and honest than ARod. And at a time when ARod finds himself yet again in the middle of a scandal, that honesty is refreshing.

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