Sweeny: Tex Is Back On The Mark
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By Sweeny Murti
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New York, N.Y. (WFAN) - It appears as if Mark Teixeira has his mojo back.
Teixeira went 4-for-5 Saturday in Oakland with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs. That’s 3 home runs and 7 RBIs in the last 2 games. There is no more talk about Teixeira’s mysterious cough and the energy it was stealing from him every night. There is only talk of a four-game Yankee winning streak and the hot bats that have made it happen, including Mark Teixeira’s.
The four-hit game lifted Teixeira’s average to .248, its highest mark since April 27th when he was batting .257. Ironically, it’s Teixeira’s new aggressive approach that has him thinking less about average and more about power and production.
Teixeira said that last weekend, after sitting out 3 games because of his unusual illness, he came to the realization that he has to start swinging hard and not worrying about his batting average anymore. It’s the power numbers that matter to him and if the average gets sacrificed, so be it.
Teixeira’s average has dropped every year in his Yankee career, from .292 in 2009 to .256 in 2010 to .248 in 2011. It bothered him for certain. But it appears to have bothered him more that he began this season with a severe power outage and that’s what he went out to fix when he got back into the lineup last Monday.
Listen to Teixeira after Saturday’s win in Oakland describing how he’s feeling now and how his philosophy now is about maintaining his prolific power numbers, regardless of what it does to his average.
Yes, he said it. Chicks dig the long ball.
I know people fear Teixeira turning into an all or nothing Dave Kingman, but I almost believe that his new aggressive approach will actually lead him away from that and bring his average to a more respectable level. Teixeira isn’t going to flail wildly, swinging hard in case he hits it. He is still a hitter with a plan, who is simply taking a more aggressive swing and using his power to his advantage.
I’m not sure it will lead to a .300 batting average ever again. But it’s been three years since Teixeira’s slugging percentage saw the .500 mark and that’s going to be more valuable to the Yankees at this point.
It’s very easy to make too much out of two games. But Mark Teixeira hasn’t put together two games like this in a long time.