The biggest story in yesterday's 10-5 Yankees loss to the Orioles was the dismal start to CC Sabathia's career. But a close second was the loud, sustained and negative reaction Mark Teixeira received from the fans at Camden Yards. The crowd for Orioles games has been deadened by several awful teams, but on Monday it sounded like Lou Piniella was making a walk-on at a Bruce Springsteen concert.
A Maryland native, Teixeira grew up as an Orioles fan and was rumored to have Baltimore on his list of potential new employers in the offseason before he wound up signing with the Yankees. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why the Yankees won out in the end, and the reaction from Orioles fans would probably fizzle out as the season moved on and the Orioles settled into the bottom of the standings.
Teixeira is doing his best to stoke the flames, though.
"In a perfect world, the Orioles would have won the World Series every year I was alive, and I’d be an Oriole right now," Teixeira said in the dugout Monday. "I have so much love for the city and the organization. But in the baseball world and the business world, sometimes you have to make tough decisions, and the Yankees were the better fit for me."
Why can't these guys just say it is about the money? It's the same BS that forces them to proclaim that they always wanted to be a Yankee when they sign their mammoth contracts that are conspicuously more lucrative than any other offers they received. That money extends to other positions as well, which is why the Yankees are stocked with stars. Just say that then, and stop with the cutesy-poo "better fits" and fake daydreaming about perfect worlds.
Because, for Mark Teixeira, it is a perfect world. He's married to a lovely woman, healthy, accomplished in his chosen profession and in the prime of his career. He could have signed with any team in baseball and earned a more than decent wage. He didn't have to settle for a more than decent wage, though, because someone was offering him $180 million over the next eight years. What's not perfect about that?
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.