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Fuck. Yes. Mark.
What a way to cap off one of the least recognized careers in MLB history. Sure he stunk to start every season. Sure there was the whole Mr. Mom fiasco. Sure he was never the best first baseman in baseball. Sure it seemed like he was always injured in some way or another for the last five or six years. Sure, maybe he never lived up to his contract. But at the end of the day you have to acknowledge that the dude could absolute rake from both sides and played a Gold Glove First Base even into his later years.
Not the greatest career ever. But a pretty fucking good one when it’s all said and done. A high quality player that filled an important role for the team for 8 highly under-appreciated years.
In a way though, Tex was the perfect example of how boring and buttoned up and overpaid the Yankees became over the last decade or so. Yeah he performed. Yeah he came to the ballpark and put on the uniform and represented the Yankees in a “classy” manner. But there was never any real connection. There was no growing together like with the Yankees of the mid 90’s on. The whole relationship was built on a massive contract, like it was for most of the major contributors after 2003. When they won it was expected. When they lost they choked. There was no fun in watching them. No joy.
Which makes this pimp job so goddamn funny. In eight years I didn’t see anything remotely like that from Tex. Dude waited until his last career road at bat to break out a stare-down and a bat flip. It’s like the youthful exuberance of the younger Yankees finally started to wear off on the guy who so often seemed like a goddamn robot.
If anything, this video serves as a nice reminder of what’s to come over the next decade. Youth, excitement, cockiness. Right in the face of cockiest team in all of baseball. Mark will be gone. Alex is already out the door. And we’re like one or two moved from a complete overhaul of the robotic, overpaid teams of the last decade.
Gary is already very fucking here. Judge and Bird are coming back. Clint and Gleybar and Jorge and the rest are well all on their way. Let’s get this new era of Yankee baseball started already.