Mark Teixeira: It’s Not Going to be Easy for Yankees in Talented AL East

February 4, 2013 – 7:30 am by Steven Cuce

Mark Teixeira made headlines this past week after admitting he’s overpaid and his best years are almost behind him. The Yankees first baseman also made a one-night-only appearance in Broadway’s “Rock of Ages”.

As for the start of spring training in a few weeks? Teixeira discusses his goals for this season and the outlook of the Yankees’ offense.

Mark Teixeira joined 660 WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to discuss the Yankees playing small ball this season, being 100 percent healthy going into spring training, coming back too soon from his calf injury last year and his relationship with Kevin Youkilis.

What are your thoughts on the Yankees playing small ball this year?

“It’s not going to be as easy for us. I think we have been spoiling ourselves and everybody else with the power and a lot of runs being scored and we’ve won more games than anyone in our division since I got here in 2009. Not that it’s ever been easy, but it’s definitely not going to be easy, but I still feel very good about this team. … I wouldn’t call it small ball, but not as one dimensional with Brett Gardner being healthy along with Ichiro Suzuki. We have the opportunity to steal some more bases, to hit and run a little bit more, so it’ll be maybe some more exciting baseball for those people who like watching people bunt and hit and run.”

Are you 100 percent healthy for real?

“Absolutely. … Last year was so frustrating for me. I was really healthy for two months out of the season and it was a lot of little injuries that I didn’t let heal. Then you play with a tight calf and it blows out. You come back too early and it blows out again. This offseason, my number one goal was to get 100 percent healthy. I’ve always prided myself on playing 150 games and being healthy during the whole season and that’s my plan this year.”

When you came back from the calf injury in August/September should you have come back? You really weren’t ready to come back?

“Oh of course not. I was definitely not ready. Listen, we were battling for first place. With the new playoff system there was — the Texas Rangers would tell you, the Atlanta Braves would tell you — there is no way we wanted to be a Wild Card. That was not an option and we’re one game up or tied; I am not sure exactly at the time. And if I could limp out there and play on one leg I was going to play. That’s sports. Robert Griffin III would tell you that, plenty of other players. Boomer Esiason, you know it. If you can get out there and limp on the field and play you are going to play. Sometimes you get hurt even worse or can’t make it through a game, but that’s the way it is.”

Do you have a relationship with Kevin Youkilis?

“Not much. We played in an All-Star game together. Youk and I played in the minor leagues one year against each other here and there, but we’re about the same age. He and I are … I think he may be a year older than me. He and I have played against each other since 2004, so I’ve known Kevin for a long time. If he’s healthy, he is going to be a great addition to our team.”

Listen to Mark Teixeira on 660 WFAN in New York here

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