LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Mark Teixeira was on all the morning news shows Wednesday.
It wasn't because of the two-run single he hit in the Yankees' 8-1 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday. It was for holding up two bottles of honey from the dugout as a joke during a seven-minute bee delay in the third inning.
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The Yankees are much more focused on Teixeira's wrist bone than his funny bone as he returns from a lost season due to a serious tendon sheath injury.
But "Good Morning America" and its morning-show ilk couldn't resist video of bees swarming leftfield at Steinbrenner Field and a star player inexplicably shaking bottles of honey at the grounds crew.
"What I thought was," Teixeira later explained, "if you could just do a line of honey out to the parking lot, the bees would maybe follow it, and then just leave us alone."
As to how he happened to have two bottles of honey, Teixeira said: "I'm a big peanut butter and honey guy. Love it. So I always know where the honey is."
So now you know that about Mark Teixeira. What you don't know is if his surgically repaired right wrist will hold up all season after the injury limited the Yankees first baseman to 15 games in 2013.
So far, so good, Teixeira said. The results haven't been there -- he's batting .188 with a double and three RBIs in 16 at-bats -- but the absence of pain has Teixeira feeling positive.
"I feel really good," Teixeira said. "I feel really good about my wrist. I feel like it's getting stronger and it'll continue to get stronger all year. And that's the exciting part. It's not like this is a good as it's going to get. It'll keep getting stronger all year."
At least that's the hope. Teixeira first injured the wrist last March in batting practice for the World Baseball Classic. He returned without surgery in late May, but that didn't work out. He had season-ending surgery on July 2.
"What I've been most pleased with is you look at this whole spring training, there's never been a point where he was scheduled to work that he had to say, 'You know, I could use a day,' '' manager Joe Girardi said. "And that's really encouraging to me. Everything that he has been scheduled to do, he has done."
In 2012, Teixeira hit .251 with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs. Including this season, when he will make $22.5 million, the 33-year-old is signed for $67.5 million through 2016.
After adding Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees don't need Teixeira to be an MVP candidate. But they have zero other options at first base if he is unable to play because of injury.
Kelly Johnson, the starting third baseman, is the backup first baseman. Girardi seems to have abandoned an early-spring thought of having Alfonso Soriano work out at first.
So it's Teixeira or bust.
"He's important to our club," Girardi said. "What he does on a daily basis. He's so important."