Via Kevin Kernan –
…[Mark] Teixeira made a trip to Miami in early January to spend a few days with Alex Rodriguez and hitting coach Kevin Long.
Teixeira, one of Rodriguez’s closest friends on the team, wanted to strengthen the bond with Rodriguez and improve himself as a ballplayer, working out and hitting with Rodriguez.
“I’ll be 30 this year, Alex is going to be 34,” Teixeira said yesterday. “We want to be great into our late 30s and into our 40s. Alex and I are hoping that we’re going to be here for a long time and winning a lot of championships together.”
“Everyone knows his work ethic,” Teixeira said. “But he put me through a workout that I was tired for about a week, but what I loved is that he invited all the kids that worked out at Miami [the U], the minor league players, back to his house.
“He fed ‘em, then we hit for two hours in his batting cage.”
Teixeira got to see Rodriguez on his home turf and was impressed.
It’s easy to criticize Rodriguez for the mistakes he has made, but Teixeira saw a side of the slugger that really hit home.
“What he does for that community,” the first baseman said. “You walk around the Miami facilities and everyone is, ‘Hey Alex.’ He gives everyone a hug.
“His name’s on the stadium. It’s inspiring because when I’m in the offseason, I like to get away. I like to be by myself a little bit, but he just said ‘Hey, guys, c’mon in.’
“The whole time we were there, he was talking baseball,” Teixeira added. “He was teaching kids how to work, how to prepare, how to hit certain pitchers, how to go into spring training.”
There’s no truth to the rumor that, after the lunch with Tex, A-Rod then said: “Teixeira’s never been blessed with great talent around him. He’s always had to lead. He can’t just go and play and have fun. And he hits third — that’s totally different than first and second in a lineup. Now, you go into New York, you wanna stop me and Tex.”