Sox step up in the hunt for Teixeira


Word comes that C.C. Sabathia is poised to join the Evils. 

Meanwhile, Mike Lowell remains one of the great class acts in baseball, but landing Mark Teixeira would solidify the Sox offense for years to come, whereas Lowell is approaching the end of his career. What's more, Tex sounds like an upstanding citizen.

From the Globe's Extra Bases blog:

Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated weighs in with this well-reported, interesting piece about Teixeira and how his intelligence, image, and ability make him, in agent Scott Boras’s words, “the ideal client.”

Tex, as he is known, fits the profile of the modern superstar -- polished and savvy, mindful of his image as well as his OPS. He was switch-hitting in elementary school, was a member of the National Honor Society at Mount St. Joseph High in Baltimore, went to Georgia Tech and became an assistant player representative in only his second major league season. When he walks into the clubhouse, dressed in slacks and a button-down shirt, the first thing he does is turn off his cellphone so he is not distracted and does not bother anyone else. He says he has a "plan for every day," which requires that he eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before each game and scarf down a Power Bar in the middle innings. “Some people would call me obsessive compulsive,” Teixeira says, “but I take my job very seriously and my preparation very seriously. I am not the kind of guy who goes out at night and parties.”

The story also touches on how his early dealings with the Red Sox out of high school shaped his baseball business sense. (Which, by the by, ace colleague Nick Cafardo was all over months ago.)

There really hasn’t been much news, or even rumors, lately about Teixeira, which is all but certain to change next week at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. So for now, enjoy Jenkins's story. And read all the way to the end for some anecdotes about Teixeira that will probably give you another reason to want him to wear a 'B' on his cap.

Two of the most formative events of Teixeira's life occurred in Baltimore. When he was a freshman in high school, on the way home from soccer practice one day, his father told him that his mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. And when he was a junior, preparing to play an American Legion baseball game, one of Mark's best friends was killed in a car accident. Nick Liberatore was sitting in the backseat of a car parked on the side of Interstate 95 when a trucker fell asleep at the wheel and plowed into him. Every Wednesday night for the next year Teixeira and his friends went to the Liberatores' house for dinner. After Teixeira signed his first professional contract, with the Rangers in 2001, he asked Mount St. Joseph principal Barry Fitzpatrick how much it would cost to endow a scholarship in Liberatore's name. Fitzpatrick told him he would have to start with $75,000. "Mark took out his checkbook and wrote the check right there," Fitzpatrick says.
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