Category: Mark Teixiera

Ivan Nova excelled through 7 innings as the Yankees have an off day on Monday

The last game of the two city, seven-game road trip ended on a positive note as Ivan Nova pitched the Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.  He executed all his pitches well, especially his slider, and kept his name in a three way race with Mike Trumbo of the Angels and Michael Pineda of the Mariners for Rookie of the Year.

Nova also successfully became the first rookie to win eight in a row with the Yankees since Whitey Ford did so in 1950.  He has proven that clutch moments don’t faze him, unlike A.J. Burnett, because he was able to pitch out of a second-and-third no out jam in the fifth inning without allowing a run.  This was partly because of miscommunication by Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson on a ball hit by Danny Valencia, which went for a double.

The Yankees’ prized 24 year old, was super while having five strikeouts and only allowing one walk.  He lowered his ERA to 3.97 on the campaign proving that the Yankees will be able to count on him down the stretch and in the playoffs.  Earlier in the season it was revealed that Burnett had become a mentor figure for Nova, but maybe Nova should give Burnett some advice on pitching.

Proving the dominance of Nova is that only three Twins were able to get into scoring position against him, but the same type of pitching cannot be said for the Twins starter.  Nick Blackburn, only lasted 1.1 innings, while walking the bases loaded before being taken out my his manager, Ron Gardenhire, due to an injury.

The Yankees wasted that scoring opportunity as Anthony Swarzak came in and pitched 2.2 perfect innings, but they were able to capitalize off of the Twins next two relievers.

In the sixth inning Russell Martin hit a sacrifice fly to score Robinson Cano who had doubled earlier in the inning.  Martin could finish the year with more than 20 home runs, 60 runs batted in and 10 steals which is impressive for a catcher.

The seventh inning is when the Yankees home run kings, Mark Teixiera and Granderson, hit back-to-back homers in unlikely fashion off of Jose Mijares.  Granderson drove a ball high off the wall in right field, but Jason Kubel and Ben Revere went for the wall instead of the carom, which resulted in Granderson just barely beating the throw at home.  He really had to hustle for that inside the park home run.  He added a steal off of Joe Nathan, proving his versatility and that he deserves the MVP.

Teixiera’s home run was of the traditional variety to cap off the back-to-back feat.  He hit a stinging line drive that just made it over the left field fence.  This was all the scoring the team would need as the combination of David Robertson and Mariano Rivera did not allow any runs once again, even though Robertson has to pull a Houdini act after allowing a walk and two hits.

Granderson and Teixiera will likely go head-to-head until the last days of the season to decide who will have the most home runs and RBI on the team, as well as in the American League.  As of now Granderson has 35 home runs to Teixeira’s 34, as well as having 98 RBI’s to Teixeira’s 95.  This will be exciting to follow.

Alex Rodriguez was 0 for 5 in his return but after a few games he will prove to be another power bat to add to the lineup.  The Yankees played well without him, winning five out of seven and 13 out of 19, but it will definitely be helpful having him back.

It will also be interesting to see if Girardi makes the wise decision in the upcoming days and replaces Burnett in the rotation for at least two starts. It might even help him if he is able to pitch in the minors for a start or two.

Starting on Tuesday, the Yankees get to continue the cupcake portion of their schedule as they have six straight games against the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, who are both well under .500.  They should be able to win at least four of those games to help create a few games of separation over the Red Sox who are playing the Rangers for four games.  Yankees are in first place by half a game.

>Tackling Athletes and Social Media


There are many athletes on twitter and the open filter that twitter allows can increase their brand and give their fans further insight into who they are off the court or playing field, but it can also tarnish their image. 
A true benefit of twitter can be raising awareness for ones personal foundation or charity, letting fans know what movies, music, or restaurants they like or describing the places that they travel in the offseason.  Various players on New York teams use twitter is a positive way to inform fans about their lives, interact with people that they choose, in addition to promoting their worthwhile foundations. 
Athletes should be able to speak their minds and what is going on within reason and some of the local ones to be highlighted are Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixiera, Russell Martin, Landry Fields, Amar’e Stoudemire, Roger Mason Jr. and Mark Sanchez.  This is because they don’t post anything to controversial and realize that everybody, including ESPN and the rest of the media, can see what they are tweeting. 
Recently Sanchez has been conducting his second annual JETS West camp at his high school in Mission Viejo, California.  This year the training out west is even more crucial because the NFL is in a lockout again and players are unable to train and their teams facilities.  Some of the Jets that have participated include Mark Brunell, Kevin O’Connell, Dustin Keller, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith, Patrick Turner, Jeff Comberland, John Conner and Joe McKnight.  He has given followers access to what they have been eating (In-N-Out Burger among others) as well as pictures and videos of their training.  They have been watching film at the high school and they have even been holding contests for fans.  He has designed JETS West T-Shirts and said that the proceeds would go to charity.  Sanchez is getting in much needed off season repetitions with his receivers and running backs while giving to charity in the process.
Another player that has giving back to the community on his mind is the Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson.  He tweets updates on his Grand Kids Foundation to let followers know what he is doing to help the community.  He deserves praise for donating 300 bats to the New York Public School Athletic League, half wood for baseball, and half aluminum for softball, that the schools teams desperately need.  He also gave followers the opportunity to support his Grand Kids Foundation during the New York City Marathon.  He has posted pictures of himself practicing as well as stating notable achievements of African Americans during Black History Month.
Landry Fields did not have a lot of followers at the beginning of the year but once he started to prove himself in summer league, and was named a starter to begin the season he began to get many more.  He was a fan favorite this season for his fundamental play since he is able to succeed at many facets of the game.  His “Andy and Landry Show” brought many laughs, and he updated followers on different restaurants he was trying as well as how he was adapting to life in New York and being a rookie in the NBA.  Fields has even done creative contests where fans can win prizes.  He has been successful at not being controversial on twitter while informing followers of what is going on in his life.  
Yankees first baseman Teixeira recently joined twitter, and he largely uses it as a way to promote his foundation, Dreamteam25.  He partnered with the Harlem RBI association and made a sizable donation to benefit the kids.  Teixeira also let fans know that they have extra incentive to make a small donation to his foundation because they would have a chance to win a lunch TEX, a behind the scenes tour of Yankees Stadium, watching the game from a luxury box and other benefits.  Russell Martin took about an hour out of his off day, about two weeks ago, to answer questions from fans.  
Mason Jr. has used his twitter account to promote his foundation “The Roger Mason Jr. Foundation” as well as giving predictions on the playoffs and asking for museum suggestions from his followers.    He has successfully furthered his brand because he has interacted with fans while also staying away from controversial issues.  Stoudemire has promoted his recent sponsorship deals, TV appearances and even gave his followers a sneak peek into his trip to Israel last summer.
Overall, it is important, in this era of increased media scrutiny, that athletes realize that the world has access to what they post on twitter.  They should have the freedom to post what they want because it is unfiltered and a way to let their true personality out, but they shouldn’t touch on many offensive subjects that would ruin their image like Reshard Mendenhall did. Mendenhall, lost his sponsorship with Champion because he tweeted, among other things that he has “a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style”.  He posted this after the news of Bin Laden’s death was announced.  He should think twice before posting something controversial and insensitive like this.
It would not make sense to teams or certain athletes from using twitter because it can be a beneficial tool, but they should learn what is appropriate to post and what is not.  Some athletes don’t display any opinion, so at least here he was speaking what was on his mind, but I think next time he will learn to keep this to himself.