|Boston will survive without him
Two stories about how the Red Sox missed out on getting Mark Teixeira this past offseason, one in the Boston Globe:
. . . come the end of this season, particularly if the Red Sox fail to retain Jason Bay, the Yankees' signing of Teixeira at the Red Sox' expense could loom as a pivotal turning point in baseball's fiercest division . . . [Teixeira] might have been the centerpiece of the Boston lineup for years to come. Given the struggles of Ortiz, the Sox' failure to sign Teixeira now leaves them with something of a long-term predicament offensively.
And one in the New York Times, which ties it specifically to the Sox-Yanks rivalry, with the headline "Teixeira Altered Dynamics of Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry."
The question caused Alex Rodriguez to put his palms on the side of his head, smile and utter, "Wow." It was Rodriguez's animated, one-syllable response to how dramatically different the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox would have been if Mark Teixeira had signed with Boston . . . The Red Sox positioned their off-season around signing Teixeira, a player who would have fit snugly into their desire for shrewd, patient hitters who play stellar defense. If the Red Sox were assigned the task of building the perfect player, they would have constructed someone who hit, fielded, walked and talked like Teixeira.
Only brief mention of the facts that (a) The Sox have yet to lose to the Yankees this year, so the dynamics haven't been altered that much; (b) that the Red Sox have a really good first base prospect in Lars Anderson; and (c) even if Anderson doesn't pan out, it's been a very long time since the Red Sox were a team that allowed itself to have gaping holes anywhere. If Bay bolts, they'll find a way to patch the holes and will remain competitive. That's just what they do. So yes, having Mark Teixeira in Boston would have changed things a bit, but I think it's really easy to oversell this storyline. They'll find someone else. They always do.
But hey, the Yankees are playing the Red Sox this week, and overselling everything that goes with that is part of the territory.