It's time to groove one

faceoff: are the orioles doing enough to sign free agent mark teixeira?

December 18, 2008|By CANDUS THOMSON

The hometown team needs the hometown boy.

It's time to pull the trigger, light the candle, fire up the checkbook, call the equipment manager and tell him to stitch up an Orioles jersey with "Teixeira" and the number "25" on the back.

Who are the Orioles waiting for? They didn't go out and buy a staff ace - the team's most pressing need - to anchor the rotation. Babe Ruth isn't coming back, Michael Phelps doesn't play baseball and the rest of the team isn't getting the job done, either on the field or at the turnstiles.

Yet the Angelistas appear poised to stop in the neighborhood of seven years and between $140 million and $150 million, which is toney turf for you and me but Palookaville to guys who can hit 33 home runs and carry a .308 average, as Mark Teixeira did last season.

Don't think of it as a 10-year deal for more than $20 million per. Think of it as four or five Jay Paytons.

Forget the hometown discount. The Orioles should pay him extra to play here - consider it hardship pay for signing with a team that's at 11 consecutive losing seasons and counting. Would you want to go out and play behind Jeremy Guthrie and four pitchers to be named later?

And don't try to justify the Orioles' feet of clay by noting other high-priced acquisitions who didn't work out. Glenn Davis was never the answer unless the question was, "Which Orioles slugger hit 24 home runs in three seasons?" Albert Belle? Fluke injury, flake human.

Speaking of flakes, take it away, Maese.

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