Yankees Q&A with Mark Teixeira

Yankees' Mark Teixeira tosses his glove to sign

Yankees' Mark Teixeira tosses his glove to sign autographs during spring training. (Feb. 25, 2012) (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

You lost 15 pounds in the offseason. Anything in particular tell you that was something you needed to do?

Teixeira: "It kind of just happened naturally. I didn't plan on losing a lot of weight, but my goal was to eat better and to have more energy, be more athletic. I think once you hit your 30s, everyone says you get slower, you get heavier or whatever it may be. I want to be the opposite. I wanted to get faster and lighter."

Were your eating habits that bad?

Teixeira: "No, it was like being a B+ eater to an A eater. It's really not that much difference. But I think the difference that I made with juice press, with a lot more raw food, raw vegetables, that just like jumps you up a whole other level."

Have you noticed a difference in how you feel?

Teixeira: "I notice in the weight room. Running has been a lot better for me. I was able to ramp up my running this offseason. At the end of my workouts, I wasn't tired, I felt like my energy was better. Now let's hope that transforms into a great season. Every year is a battle and it throws challenges at you. You can get into great shape, get hit with a ball in the hand in spring training and your hand is sore for the first half of the season. Who knows what's going to happen during the year?"

Do you feel physically the same strength-wise?

Teixeira: "I feel as strong or stronger. One thing I did last offseason was hit a little more than I ever have to get off to a good start. I did that. But I wanted to add a little more weightlifting this offseason to keep that strength."

What do you think the reaction will be when/if you actually do lay down a bunt this year?

Teixeira: "We'll see. If I get a hit, everyone will be happy. If I make an out, they're going to say, 'Why don't you try to hit a home run?' That's the excitement of baseball."

Is too much being made of you saying you were going to bunt?

Teixeira: "Are you thinking I was having fun with the media? Of course. But at the same time, I might throw one down."

What inspired that statement beyond riling up the press?

Teixeira: "I will attempt to bunt this year. I will say that. But to think I'm going to change my game when I've been a power hitter, run-producer my entire life, that's laughable . . . I wanted to let people know that my average was unacceptable last year and that I have worked all offseason to try and fix that one problem in my game. Lefthanded singles, that's the problem in my game right now. And so bunting is going to be a part of it. Now when that gets 90 percent of my coverage this offseason, that's a little overblown. I think more important, what Kevin [Long, the Yankees' hitting coach] and I have been working on is having my hands in a better place, have a better path to the ball, whereas when your hands get around the ball, you might hit it hard, you might crush the ball, but if your hands get around it, you're going to pull it. You stay inside the ball better, which I do righthanded -- if I stay inside it, I can still crush the ball but I can use the rest of the field."

How much did your lack of playoff success the last few years play into your offseason goals?

Teixeira: "A big part. It's unacceptable. I've been happy with the fact I've had great regular seasons and I haven't been happy with the fact I've had not great postseasons. I had some big hits, some really big hits, but the quantity isn't there."

Does the perception of you being a player who doesn't come through in the postseason grate on you?

Teixeira: "The only thing I'll say to that is I've had a lot of big hits. Quality and quantity are different. My big hits have been really big the last three postseasons, but my average isn't good. People can say whatever they want to say. I'm not disagreeing that my average needs to be better."

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