Teixeira and the economy
December, 23, 2008
While we wait for the puff of smoke that will signify, finally, Mark Teixeira's employer for the next eight or nine years, we can chew on Ted Robinson's take on Tex, his big bad agent, and the big worse economy
In SoCal, there is panic about life without Teixeira and Manny Ramirez. There is hype and then there are facts. Like these: the Angels were 66-40 (.622) BEFORE Teixeira, 34-22 (.607) WITH Teixeira. Atlanta was 49-56 with Teixeira and for the record he has played in exactly one All-Star Game.
The Angels acquired Teixeira for October and in four playoff games, he had zero extra-base hits and one RBI. The Los Angeles Times characterized that performance this morning as "shining," a passage obviously ghost-written by [Scott] Boras.
No one in the real world can get money right now but the best players in baseball are immune to reality. And make no mistake, baseball is healthy -- for now. But I have talked to savvy sports businessmen in the last week and they see NBA games in many cities played before scads of empty seats, they hear whispers that at least one NHL team may have trouble meeting a payroll, they see Tiger Woods (TIGER!) lose a sponsor, they see General Motors drop out of sports and they wonder how long before baseball feels the pinch.
This year is safe for MLB but will sponsors, suite-holders and ticket buyers who are locked in for 2009 quickly renew for 2010 and beyond? Boras cares not about these questions for his mission is to squeeze every last dollar for his clients. And squeeze he must for he turned down that seven-year offer from Texas for Teixeira. And he convinced the Dodgers to obliterate two option years on Ramirez's deal.