New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (25) during batting...

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (25) during batting practice prior to the game against the New York Mets at Citi Field. (May 21, 2010) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri


The suggestions come from all over. From people on the street, the newspapers, letters arriving in the mail, analysts on television.

They tell Mark Teixeira - who's battling a slump that threatens to carry into Memorial Day weekend - to change this or that.

"Some people might say, do these kinds of drills because they work for player X," Teixeira said Wednesday. "Or don't lift so much because that guy doesn't do it, or look at more film because that's what that guy does. Well, that's great. If it works for those guys, that's great. But when you have a track record like I have, you want to stick to that."

Just about everyone - hitting coach Kevin Long, manager Joe Girardi, general manager Brian Cashman - has spoken of that track record. And with a career .290 average and a .378 on-base percentage entering 2010, Teixeira has more reason to stick with what he does, even with a .210 average and .322 on-base percentage entering last night's game.

Before Tuesday's game, he and Long actually dialed back in the cage. "Just did kind of a normal round, not the normal plus an extra 30 [swings]," said Teixeira who still leads in All-Star Game fan voting for AL first basemen. "Just getting back to doing what I've always done."

Routine can be the universal religion of baseball players, something strictly adhered to in good times and bad.

Teixeira said going through his struggles isn't reason to "reinvent" himself. Instead, he is taking the same number of ground balls, the same number of swings in the batting cage, the same approach to his day.

"There's a tendency in sports to always think that what someone else is doing or a certain gimmick or something is always the way to do it, or is the better way to do it," he said. "I've always had a plan of working my tail off, doing my drills, whether offensively or defensively, playing hard and trying to play team baseball. It's a very simple plan, and at the end of every season of my career, the numbers speak for themselves."

Teixeira's tone in discussing those numbers - another reference to the track record - wasn't one of arrogance. Rather it was defiance in the face of his most current skid. He was 3-for-32 before going 2-for-5 Wednesday night and 2-for-4 with a double last night.

"When you play 162 games, you're going to have tons of failure games, games where you just couldn't hit a ball if it was thrown up underhanded by a 60-year-old," Teixeira said. "You're going to have those days. What good does it do you to, after a day like that, go OK, I'm going to change my swing, I'm going to change my bat, I'm going to change the way I play the game? It doesn't do you any good.

"Consistency is measured over 162 games, not one game. Or one month. Like I said, my numbers speak for themselves and I don't have to prove anything to anybody. I try to play winning baseball. I play hard, I work hard. At the end of the season, the stats are there."

Teixeira can come off as robotic in answering questions - he has the one-game-at-a-time thing down pat - but he also can be brutally honest. After going 0-for-4 against the Mets on Saturday, Teixeira said: "I can't get any worse."

"There's going to be a lot of days where I stink, and if I stink, I'll tell you guys, 'Hey, I stink right now, I need to fix it,' " Teixeira said Wednesday.

Earlier this month, it appeared as though he had fixed it. After hitting .136 in April, he was 12-for-30 in his first seven games in May, including a pair of four-hit games. But he went 13-for-65 in the next 16 games.

Despite Teixeira's struggles and frustration, he has answered questions daily, from reporters and occasionally from fans. He handles that with equanimity.

"I've always said, if people didn't come up and ask me questions, if fans, whether it's cheering or booing, didn't come out to watch us play, I wouldn't have a job," Teixeira said. "What I try to tell young guys, the same work ethic that allows you to succeed, even with that same work ethic, you're going to fail sometimes. So don't change your work, don't change your preparation."

Farm report: Pat Venditte

Everyone's favorite switch pitcher is off to a good start in his first full season with Class A Tampa. Pat Venditte, 25, a natural righty who has thrown with both arms since he was 3, spent most of last season with Charleston, going 2-2 with a 1.47 ERA before his promotion to Tampa. Venditte is 0-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 14 games this season. He has seven walks and 30 strikeouts. Venditte made his spring training debut March 31 against the Braves and allowed a run in one inning. He's a long way from the majors but has succeeded at every level, and the Yankees remain very intrigued.