From the Yankees perspective, the most important thing to come out of Mark Teixeira’s appearance at the Lou Gehrig Sports Awards dinner last night was that the first baseman was reportedly walking without much of a limp. He says his hamstring is improving and that, if this were in-season, he’d be back on the field in just a few weeks.
The more interesting aspect of Teixeira’s comments, at least since we’re out of season, may have come when he was asked about Derek Jeter winning another Gold Glove award this week.
Teixeira defended Jeter winning the award and also criticized a defensive metric that indicates Jeter – as well as Robinson Cano and Teixeira himself – were below par in the field this past season.
“I hear about this UZR, Ultimate Zone Rating,” Teixeira said, “and I saw Robinson Cano has a negative Ultimate Zone Rating. That is absolutely crazy. Robinson Cano is by far … the best second baseman I’ve ever seen and he’s a negative defender by that Ultimate Zone Rating. So I don’t put any stock into those things.”
Just for the record, Teixeira was a minus-2.7, Cano was a minus-0.6 and Jeter was a minus-4.7 in UZR, according to Fangraphs.com. Teixeira, however, wasn’t much convinced.
“Derek had a great season at short,” Teixeira said. “He turns a double play as well as anybody. He deserved the Gold Glove. Look at his statistics. And you also have to realize the flashy plays aren’t really where it’s at. It’s great if you get to a ball and people say ‘look at his range.’ Derek may not have as much range, but what good is it if you get to a ball and then throw it away? Now the guy is on second base.”
* See? According to this AP shot, Teixeira really does like his fellow infielders a lot.