The afternoon bat around knows what the morning never suspected.
“I was injured plenty, I just played through it,” Teixeira said. “I had major ankle surgery in college, a major quad tear in Texas in ‘07, knee surgery in ‘07. Hurt my wrist in ‘09. I’ve played through so many things . . . I can’t play through them anymore.”
It is, he said, the inevitable impact of aging.
“Guys ask me, ‘How did you play in Texas for five years? It’s 100 degrees every day,’ ” said Teixeira, who played 162 games in 2005 and 2006 with the Rangers. “I was young, I was a kid. I played through everything. You foul a pitch off your leg, go get ‘em; you strain something in your back, go get ‘em. That’s just the way it is when you’re young. I can’t play through those things [now]. I don’t think I would have had to miss games with back spasms, I don’t think I would miss games with a little tweak of my hamstring earlier in the season, but now I just can’t get through those anymore.”
Yes, he said when asked, it is a concession to age.
“Father Time is undefeated,” Teixeira smiled wearily.
Regardless, the Yankees need Teixeira if they’re to make a second-half push. Though he played in 76 of the club’s 104 games entering last night, Teixeira led an offensively challenged club with 17 homers and 48 RBIs. And with his backup, Kelly Johnson, on the DL, Teixeira’s absence in the field has been felt, most recently Saturday when fill-in Brian McCann misplayed a ball in the seventh inning that led to the Blue Jays scoring the tiebreaking run in a 6-4 Yankees’ loss.
“I was really healthy for a long time, and I was very lucky that I could play through those things and stayed on the field as much as anybody,” Teixeira said. “But at a certain point, sometimes you hit a wall. I hit a wall last year. Hopefully, I won’t have a lot of these but if they do pop up, they’re just tougher to play through.”
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