We all know about Mark Teixiera’s reputation for slow starts, but this is ridiculous. The injuries notwithstanding, the primary reason the Yankees are not in first place right now is because Teixiera has been so awful. And yet, if I had made you a bet that, say, 35 games into the season Teixiera would be not only better but have 5 times as many home runs as Albert Pujols, would you have taken it? I would, if you’d offered it to me – I’d have jumped on it.
After 36 games, Teixiera is outhitting Pujols by 20 points (.232 to .212), has hit 5 home runs to Pujols’ one, driving in 19 runs to Pujols’ 14. Additionally, he has an OBP of .285 and a slugging of .399 against Albert’s .278 and .288.
So if you’re looking for a quick answer as to how bad Albert Pujols’ season has been up to now, think of it this way: Mark Teixiera has been horrible, absolutely dreadful, and is whipping Pujols in every major batting stat.
What could be wrong with Pujols? We now have something of an idea of
what has been wrong with Teixiera: inflamed airways which have created a
terrible bronchial infection that even prednisone hasn’t been able to
knock it out (snd believe me, I had that same shit several years ago
and prednisone saved my life).
Both Pujols and Teixiera are 32, and battling miserable slumps; has
anybody checked Pujols for some kind of illness? I haven’t heard even a
rumor of this, but then we didn’t know anything was wrong with Teixiera
until two days ago. Pujols is certainly not the kind of guy to talk
about illnesses, as that might be taken as a kind of excuse.
Meanwhile, I’d like to point out that Teixiera, though not in Pujols’
class, was flirting with Hall of Fame credentials before the season
began. Think about it: in 9 seasons, he’d he hit 30 or more home runs,
and in 8 seasons had at least 100 RBIs. And the season when he didn’t
hit at least 30 home runs, his first, he hit 26.
As of today he has 319 career home runs; if he finished the season
with, say, 350, wouldn’t you say he had a pretty good shot at piling up
HOF-type numbers before he was through?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 16, 2012