Home > Uncategorized > All Apologies to Jeff Bagwell, But Mark Teixeira Is Climbing Up My ‘Favorite Player’ List

All Apologies to Jeff Bagwell, But Mark Teixeira Is Climbing Up My ‘Favorite Player’ List

I’ve been a Yankees fan since my parents brainwashed me as an infant since before I can remember. But I could never really say that a Yankee was my most favorite player for an extended time. I like Jeter and Bernie and O’Neill, but none of them were ever my No. 1. When I was in grade school, Jeff Bagwell was my boy. He was just so damn underrated playing in Houston. I marveled at his awkward batting stance and how he uncoiled all that power.

Of course, considering the era in which he played, his paint can-like build and his close friendship with Ken Caminiti, I most likely admired a juicer. But when you’re 10, it’s easy to play the naive card.

These days, it is Zack Greinke whom I love most. I think I’ve made that pretty clear in this blog.

But on Tuesday, Mark Teixeira — I only know how to spell his last name because of Nelly — made a sudden jump up after I read this story.

While my favorite player can be a fluid situation, I know where my musical love lies. I’m a ’90s grunge kid through to my heart. I like The Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden and Silverchair to name a few. And I mean the young, teenage Silverchair. Not the post-anorexic, I’m-married-and-happy-so-here-are-some-really-uplifting-pop-tunes Silverchair.

But no one will ever top Nirvana. Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl (forget you, Pat Smear) shaped my musical personality more than any group and it’s not even close. I was rocking out to “Nevermind” a few months after my seventh birthday. I saw Nirvana in concert on Dec. 30, 1993 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, Calif. When Cobain killed himself — I’ve accepted it — in April 1994, I never thought about changing my name to Kurt Murphy. Personally, I don’t like the sound of “Kurt”.

But I did present a fourth-grade book report on Cobain soon after his death, complete with a three-ring binder Nirvana scrapbook and “Nevermind” playing in the background on a boombox I brought to class. I got an A+++ on that report. It’s probably my crowning academic achievement.

I have to say that this admission makes me feel closer to Teixeira. Yeah, that sounds strange, but Cobain died when I was 9. It’s hard to find people my age who are really into Nirvana. Now, Teixeira doesn’t fit into that bracket either, but he’s a player on my favorite team in my favorite sport and adores my favorite band. Don’t I have to love him?

Teixeira is hitting just .228 and has a lesser OPS than Daric Barton and Cody Ross while making $20 million this season. But I’m willing to look past that in the name of peace, love and empathy.

(Place cheap combination of Mark Teixeira's name and Nirvana song here)

P.S. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is such a lame song. If you want quintessential Nirvana, it’s got to be “Drain You”.

  1. JP
    April 27, 2011 at 1:19 am

    I live in “Red Sox Nation” and while I don’t really care about baseball anymore because I think it’s boring, I definitely like Mark Texeira more after reading this.

    Also, that is pretty impressive that you are that young and into Nirvana. I was 12 when he died and it was just such a huge deal.

    It’s kind of funny because at the time I only really knew the songs that were on the radio and within the past year I have actually familiarized myself with their whole catalog and I can definitively say they have gotten better with time and along with Radiohead are the best band of the 90s.

    • April 27, 2011 at 11:56 pm

      Thanks for the comment, JP.

      I look back on it, and I think it was a little awkward for a 7-year-old to be singing “Territorial Pissings.” But I had pretty liberal parents and wouldn’t have it any other way.

      I never really got into Radiohead. It was a little too spacey for me when I was younger. I think I’ve learned to respect them more now, but I don’t have a deep knowledge of their catalog. That’s probably something that should change.

      And in case you are interested, the concert I attended is up on YouTube. It was Dec. 30, 1993 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, Calif. — which would make me 9, not 8 years old at the time of event as is stated in this post.

      Oh, and it was awwwwwesome.

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