Tex won't OK trade, wants better start

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira watches from the New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira watches from the dugout in the second inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers. (Oct. 20, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

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TAMPA, Fla. - Mark Teixeira said he's fine just where he is.

When Albert Pujols shut down talks on a contract extension last week, speculation in cyberspace took off about how the Yankees might land the Cardinals' All-Star first baseman, perhaps in a possible mega-deal involving Teixeira and Pujols.

"I'm not going anywhere," Teixeira said, laughing. "I've got that no-trade [clause] for a reason. I'm going to be buried in these pinstripes. I'd be disappointed if the fans of New York weren't looking to make our team better. But they just have to know that I'm not leaving."

Teixeira is coming off one of the most frustrating seasons of his career, and certainly the most painful.

His season ended when he suffered a Grade 2 right hamstring strain running to first while trying to beat out a potential double-play ball. He played the last month-plus of the regular season with a broken right pinkie toe and a deep bone bruise on the base of his right thumb.

"It wasn't fun," Teixeira said. "But at the same time, we all go through something."

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Teixeira, a notoriously slow starter, said he hit more this offseason than in previous ones, even buying a cage and pitching machine for his own personal use at Bobby Valentine's Sports Complex in Stamford, Conn., which is near his home. Kevin Long visited Teixeira in January for extra work.

"This spring training, I told K-Long, 'Give me some tough love if I need it,' " Teixeira said. "Don't tell me I'm doing OK if I'm not. I want to make sure [Opening Day], we're ready to go."

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