On the afternoon of Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008, I was sitting in my bedroom, in my PJ’s, staring at my desktop computer and posting on a message board I used to belong to back in the day. I had taken the entire week off from work and was enjoying the fact that I wouldn’t be dealing with the craziness that was – and continues to be – Rockefeller Center at Christmastime. Back then, when I was still working full-time for NBC, I was a product of internet message boards. I had only joined Twitter three weeks prior and had no idea what I was doing. I also hadn’t begun to blog about baseball so my only source for news was that message board – and the people on the board who did a much better job of keeping up with team moves and transactions than I did at the time.
So as I sat there refreshing the “Mark Teixeira” thread for news updates, I was growing impatient.
We all were.
At that point, it was pretty much a given that Tex was going to Boston and most Yankee fans were pretty bummed. After the disappointing 2008 season, we wanted the big free agent bat and if the Yankees couldn’t get him we certainly didn’t want our biggest rival to get him. So once the word came out that it looked like Teixeira was headed up to Boston, it was a dark time for Yankee fans.
And then, as if by magic, the news surfaced about 45 minutes later that the Yankees had swooped in and grabbed Teixeira. As I continued to refresh the message board thread, I remember thinking to myself, “This better not be a joke.” I really didn’t believe it at first. Tex was going to Boston, there was no way he’d come to New York, right?
When the news was confirmed, I remembering yelling, fist pumping and clapping to myself alone in my room. I even scared a cat or two in my house. The only other time I can recall being that ecstatic about an offseason move was the Alex Rodriguez/Alfonso Soriano trade in early 2004.
What the Yankees ended up accomplishing that particular offseason turned out to be pretty amazing. Fans of other teams will always bitch and moan about the Yankees buying players and championships but on the other hand, those players have to be convinced to come to New York. Not everyone wants to be a Yankee as we have found out this offseason.
Signing CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett earlier that December was a big deal but adding Mark Teixeira to the mix after they had also gotten Nick Swisher in a steal of a trade made the Yankees get the pieces that would help lead them to the 27th Championship.
So, happy anniversary Mark Teixeira. While the past few years haven’t been as magical as the 2009 season, I still look back on that Tuesday afternoon with a lot of fondness and pride.
This is a reworked/edited excerpt from a bigger piece I wrote on my personal blog a year ago. You can read that piece here.