Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Yankees’ Teixeira goes ballistic, then rips third base coach Espada

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has always seemed like a mind-mannered guy. He obviously has a good sense of humor, based on his talk show parody from last season in which he was the host. But Monday night, Teixeira showed a side of him that he might want to rethink for the future.

While on second base in the eighth inning, Chase Headley looped a single to center field, and third base coach Joe Espada sent Teixeira home. Nothing crazy here; except Espada apparently yelled to Teixeira “easy, easy,” indicating he could make it home without busting it down the line. It was evident looking at replays that Teixeira did just that slowing down after rounding third.

Unfortunately, Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin has a great arm. He threw a bullet home and by the time Teixeira noticed there was going to be a play at the plate he was too late to try and pick up speed. Teixeira immediately turned around a put his arms in the air and yelled something toward Espada.

It didn’t end there. When Teixeira reached the dugout he began tossing anything in his way showing plenty of rage. Teixeira was having a bit of a rough night (he was robbed twice of hits in the game, one a potential homer by Martin, and then this) so it was somewhat understandable that he was upset.
I also figured that he was upset because he could have gotten hurt. A play like that could have resulted in a bad slide, a collision at the plate or simply stretching a muscle that was not ready for such motion. Teixeira is having a great season, one without injury and it’s obvious he wants to keep it that way and he viewed Espada’s poor judgment as potentially affecting his health.

All of this, including the tirade in the dugout is understandable in my view. I cannot argue with a player showing emotion on the field. It’s hard to bottle that up sometimes, and like I said Teixeira is not one to wear his emotions on his sleeve. So an occasional outburst is not the end of the world.

I would have been fine with things had it ended there. It didn’t. After Teixeira tossed everything in his path, he brought his frustrations to the media. Unlike manager Joe Girardi, who didn’t answer questions about the event, other than to say it was over, Teixeira had no problem speaking his mind in front of reporters in the clubhouse.
This is where this takes a bad turn for me. Teixeira could have just as easily had his discussion with Espada and left it at that, thus following Girardi's tact with reporters. Everything is going well for the Yankees right now and this kind of incident will get blown out of proportion if allowed to or ignited by railroading the coach in a public forum.

Teixeira is a 13-year veteran. He was involved in a play in which he shouldn’t have. He could have gotten hurt. But he didn’t. And it should have been left at that after he vented on the field. Today, after some time to think it over, it will be interesting to see if he offers an apology for the remarks afterward and acknowledges it would have been more appropriate to leave the dirty laundry of the clubhouse where it belongs, behind closed doors.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.