Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was one of the two big free agents available last winter along with CC Sabathia, and it wasn't exactly a huge surprise when he landed a $180 million deal with the Yankees. What has been somewhat surprising is Teixeira's inability to live up to his contract through the first month and a half of the season.
While Teixeira has hit seven home runs and driven in 19, his batting average sits at a lowly .202 through his first 114 at bats. Now Tex has always been a slow starter in his career, generally heating up along with the weather, but the man who signed him to that big contract thinks there's another factor to Mark's slow start. The pressure of living up to his deal and being a Yankee.
"I think it's the pressure," General Manager Brian Cashman said. "The easy answer is the contract and adjusting to the new environment and the excesses that come with playing here. But in his particular case, the history shows he's a slow starter, and this compounds it."
Now I don't think this is the way Cashman meant it, but given the nature of the sports media in New York, I'm pretty sure this is going to be taken the wrong way. He may not have come out and said that Teixeira can't handle the pressure of playing in New York, but somebody is going to present it that way.
Personally I don't think the Yankees have anything to worry about with Tex. Over the years Teixeira's worst month has been April, though he's not usually flirting with the Mendoza line, and his bat starts to come around towards the end of May. Looking at my calendar, that means he's due to bust out of it any day now.