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What will Teixeira do now that he's comfortable?

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira poses for

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira poses for photo day at the George Steinbrenner field in Tampa Fl. Photo Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - If you're looking to relocate to the Dallas area, Mark Teixeira has just the house for you.

One year after signing an eight-year, $180-million contract with the Yankees, Teixeira has officially put down roots in the New York metropolitan area. He said he moved everything out of his old Dallas home and into his family's new home in the Greenwich, Conn., area during the winter.

And he's about to put that Dallas home on the market.

"I'm a full-time New Yorker now, year-round," he said.

So much is made of the adjustment period that first-year Yankees stars have to go through, especially those with massive contracts. Just ask Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez and the many others who took time to get comfortable.

Although the on-field adjustment seemed smooth, Teixeira, still described the adjustment as "stressful." That had more to do with off-the-field stuff that is unavoidable, such as moving his family and getting used to a new home, city and team.

"I think it's an adjustment for anyone who comes to play in New York," manager Joe Girardi said. "The expectations are different every year. The coverage is different every day. It's just a little different. Everything is a little bit bigger."

Now entering year two, Teixeira said he feels significantly more comfortable with his surroundings, especially now that everything is set on the home front. That admission is not too surprising, but it does beg the question: If there is a built-in adjustment period for first-time Yankees, does the second-year comfort level translate into greater success on the field?

"It's tough to quantify, but at the same time, your overall well-being is definitely higher and knowing that your family is comfortable and happy," Teixeira said. "That goes a long way with just your peace of mind. No one wants to be worrying about their family having to move around all the time. That can be tough."

The Yankees' other big-prize acquisition from a year ago, CC Sabathia, also put down roots in the metropolitan area. Sabathia bought a home in Alpine, N.J., before last season and kept his family there during the winter, snow and all.

Teixeira spent the winter arranging his move. As Opening Day inches closer, he feels ready to reap the benefits, at least in terms of his mental well-being.

"Not that you don't fully put your attention on the game during your first year, but now there's less off-field distractions, which is great," he said. "There's always going to be little things here and there to distract you, but if you can minimize them, the better you're going to play."

Could that mean the first baseman is primed to have an even better season in year two? That certainly would be good news for the Yankees, considering he finished second in the American League MVP voting after hitting .292 with 43 doubles, 39 homers, 122 RBIs and a .948 OPS.

For Teixeira, it's also an encouraging sign to see Rodriguez healthy. Last year Teixeira struggled in April without A-Rod batting behind him, but once Rodriguez returned from hip surgery, Teixeira took off. Beginning on May 13, Teixeira hit .315 with a .993 OPS and totaled 74 extra-base hits in 499 at-bats.

Teixeira's goals, though, remain big picture: another championship. "Any competitor wants to win," he said, "and we always have a chance here."


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