Mark Teixeira’s retirement announcement helped the New York Yankees in finally turning the page from their most recent championship team, but there is still work to be done.
Oh, what a year it was.
The 2009 New York Yankees remain all the 21st century Yankee fans have to lean on. Unity, poise, power, and an affinity for the big moment. Everything accomplished by the team was magical, ending with the 27th World Series title in the franchise’s illustrious history.
As the Yankees move into a new era which can possibly yield the same, yet potentially duplicated results, fans must let go.
Mark Teixeira helped that process greatly with his purely unselfish act yesterday. His retirement from baseball — effective at season’s end — signifies the passing of the torch to a new generation in the Bronx.
However, with his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign anyhow, his situation differs from the remaining aging core of a team that brought home the Yankees’ 40th American League pennant.
His Yankee image will forever be aided with the selflessness he displayed, and he will go out on peaceful terms with the organization.
This is where A-Rod should take some notes.
As he sits on the bench, saying he would be fine with a release, the 41-year-old should go ahead and announce his own exit. Perhaps his dismal .204/.252/.256 slash would work its way into the lineup for the majority of his remaining days if a direct timetable was in play.
In the process, the former AL MVP would be able to make one final push towards 700 career home runs — he currently sits at 696.
Not only would his on-field time receive a jolt, but he would be respected a great deal more by fans. Additionally, the whole dragged out publicity stunt and Hall of Fame speculation would get an early start and, therefore, a premature finish.
Additionally, Teixeira’s guidance can be extremely resourceful for CC Sabathia. There have been an extremely small number of circumstances in which the big left-hander was more highly regarded than he is right now. At 36 years of age, he has turned back the clock to some extent following a fight with alcoholism.
Now, he has a chance to go out on a high note and pave the way for an exclusively young core of starting pitching.
If he announces his departure at the end of the year, it will open up a clean slate of Yankee baseball in 2017. The right mix of youngsters and experienced, yet productive, veterans would be in place.
Sure, 2009 still lingers. Yes, each player’s aspirations include staying on the field and playing a large role in something special.
However, stepping back is far more crucial.
Mark Teixeira kicked it off, and now the rest of the aging ’09 fellas need to finish the job. The sooner this happens, the sooner the organization can solely look at taking home the hardware in 2019, the 10-year anniversary of their most recent ring.