Gather ‘round kids, let me tell you a little story about Mark Teixeira…
Let’s go back to 2018 when Mark’s former teammate Robinson Cano tested positive for an MLB banned PED and was subsequently suspended 80 games.
“I don’t want to get into too much detail – I love Robbie. I’m just not surprised,” said Mark.
Of course, he didn’t want to get into detail because that would open the door to lines of questioning that would expose him as a hypocrite. Not that Michael Kay, the person to whom he was speaking would’ve followed up with those questions…
Mark added “Robbie’s assistant was on the list for Biogenesis. He had an assistant buy stuff for him. Alex Rodriguez got popped by Biogenesis, and Melky got popped. They were best friends.”
Remember all the times, after Melky Cabrera was suspended, the Biogenesis scandal broke, and Mark’s then-teammate ARod was suspended that Mark said: “I’m not surprised.”
I mean, Melky got “popped” and he and ARod were best friends and Biogenesis connected so Mark must’ve known about ARod, right? (Things Michael Kay wouldn’t ask…)
As a friendly reminder, Teixeira has one World Series ring. A ring that absolutely, positively would not belong to him if it weren’t (in part) due to the on-field contributions of Cano and ARod.
In ’09, Cano went .320/.352/.520 and 124 wRC+ as a 2nd baseman. And lest anyone besides Teixeira forget, in the ’09 postseason, ARod posted a .500 OBP, 6 HR, and 18 RBI. (In case you were wondering, Tex went all .282 OBP and 2 HR in those same 15 games.) Mark, I’m thinking (insert Jack Nicholson from “A Few Good Men” voice) they’d prefer if you just said, “Thank you.”
Pearl clutching admonishment of PED usage without acknowledging you benefitted from your teammates doing it, is first class hypocrisy and faux courage. (See; Smoltz, John. See also; Pedroia, Dustin.) That was my first indication that I was a much bigger fan of Teixeira’s as a player than as a human being.
But why am I bringing it up now?
Because hypocrisy and faux courage isn’t a one-time deal with Tex apparently. Flash forward to this past Tuesday:
When discussing MLB ownership’s offer to MLB players to accept a revenue-sharing agreement (despite a previous agreement already mutually agreed upon, no indication that the players would have a say in how revenue is generated, and no indication ownership would be forthcoming about their revenue), Mark had this to say:
“Players need to understand that if they turn this deal down, and shut the sport down, they’re not making a cent.” (Uh…yes, Mark I think they get that part…rolls eyes…)
He wasn’t done.
“I would rather make pennies on a dollar and give hope to people and play baseball.”
Good thing there’s still a quarantine because I reach for the scotch every time I read that line.
Let’s start with this: Teixeira made close to a quarter of a billion dollars playing baseball. That was due in large part to his extremely rare and valuable skill set, massive amounts of hard physical work, and mental discipline.
It’s also due in part to players who played before him who sacrificed and risked A LOT in order to protect the rights of players who would follow them. Going back almost 50 years, many star players – players who were already established with good contracts and didn’t have anything to gain by not playing baseball but did have a lot to lose – stood firm so players of future generations (coughs, Teixeira, coughs) could have their rights protected and earn millions.
“Tex was quite possibly the most pro-union player I came across in my career” former teammate Brandon McCarthy posted on Twitter.
I’d bet he was. But things are different now for Mark. Concern over fair treatment to some of his former colleagues and future players is no longer a priority for him. Serving his new master – one who needs the collective message, as silly as it may be, delivered to the largely uninformed fan base – is Mark’s new priority, the needs of his own ilk be dammed.
This is nothing new. It’s been going on as long as there have been team owners and media. Teams only allow access to media members who are friendly. In exchange, those media members reciprocate by parroting the owners’ talking points in print, online, and on radio and television.
Because let’s be 100% clear: “I would rather make pennies playing baseball and give hope to people” is a coded message from MLB owners to MLB fans. It means “We know all you regular Joes and Janes out there are struggling with ‘real jobs’ and life difficulties and want some help from those entitled millionaires who ‘play a kids’ game, and it’s their fault there’s no baseball.”
It’s 100% bullshit, and Teixeira knows it. He’s not looking out for fans, or players, he’s looking out for his billionaire bosses and their billion-dollar businesses. Don’t fall for it.
So allow me to be the overly officious baseball fan and writer and leave you with this:
As a baseball fan, it’s better to get your information from sources who are not reliant on teams for the access necessary to do their jobs. It’s the information age – there are a ton of great writers online with websites, blogs, and newsletters that can be unbiased when disseminating information. Writers and commentators who work for MLB teams, networks, or business partners are going to give you what the owners want you to hear, far more often than not.
And by the power of Marvin Miller’s thin mustache, I command you to read a book or five about this stuff.
Did I miss something? Let me know.
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