The caricature of the New York Yankees, drawn by the legions who resent them, is that they are 25 bat-wielding CEOs, dressed in button-down shirts and pinstriped suits, carrying Blackberrys and briefcases into a clubhouse that could double as a board room. They are clean-shaven, image-conscious, supremely wealthy and not a whole lot of fun.
Even though Teixeira grew up in Baltimore, cheering for
Teixeira's business sense is almost as legendary as his power to all fields. He turned down $1.5 million out of high school and made more than $9 million out of college. He then turned down $144 million from the Texas Rangers and cashed in Tuesday with the Yankees, reportedly for $180 million over eight years. The contract makes Teixeira the second-most expensive free agent in baseball history, trailing only you-know-who.
Last season with the Angels, Teixeira showed that he thrives when surrounded by similarly talented players. If he had signed with the Nationals or the Orioles -- lesser teams that were courting him -- the attention might have been too much. In New York, however, attention will be deflected to every corner of the clubhouse. One could argue that another free-agent signing, outsized pitcher
Because the Yankees signed Sabathia and
In courting Sabathia, the Yankees had to convince him that he would be comfortable in New York, a long way from his home state of California. In courting Teixeira, the Yankees did not have to do as much recruiting. He knew all about Yankee tradition and the Yankee way. He simply wanted Yankee money. On Tuesday, a perfect match was made.