The other thread is pushed way down the page, and has 180 comments anyway. If this thread sees similar interest, I'll promote it.
But as we all sit here and wait and wonder where Tex will sign, I want to point out a couple of news items that are new to me
The first is something from Tom Boswell's column in WaPo today:
The soft side of Teixeira wants to bring his wife and kids, age 1 and 2, back close to his boyhood home in Severna Park, near his mother, Margy, now cancer free, and his father, John, a former Navy pilot, who recovered from a benign brain tumor several years ago.
I've seen people all over the blogs saying how the almighty dollar triumphs over everything, and that geography is always second in a player's mind. Yet here is a concrete example of why a player would place a priority on location. Wanting your young kids to grow up knowing their grandparents is a very specific and tangible argument for choosing one area over another. Playing in Boston and flying your kids south 5 or 6 times a year is not at all the same as having them visit their grandparents once a week, perhaps even staying with them sometimes when you're out of town.
Is winning more important than this? Probably not. It it of equal importance? Perhaps. That's why MacPhail's discussion last week about the future of the O's organization would be crucial to any decision. You know Boston will be competitive for the next 2-3 years at least. You know the Orioles have a good chance to be competitive starting about two years out. You know the Nats have more questions than answers at this point. A crucial question is what happens in the last 5-6 years of the contract. Which team has a better blueprint for then? If the Orioles can stay close to Boston on the numbers, and can convince Tex that they are committed to be competitive for the next decade, the family issue would have to give us the nod.
The other thing I saw was this:
Given the fact that 28 year-old, homegrown, switch-hitting Gold Glove first basemen don’t come around too often, I am willing to donate to the Orioles $2500.00 per year for the duration of any contract the Orioles enter into with Mark Teixeira. While I understand that this is pittance compared to any contract Mr. Teixeira may sign, it is hoped that this gesture illustrates the importance of Mr. Teixeira to the Orioles and to Oriole fans.
I shouldn't be surprised at this, but there is a serious groundswell of O's fans who are viewing this as a watershed moment for this franchise. Whether or not you think ponying up the extra $$ is a good baseball decision (and there is always a risk that injury or a general decline could make the back end of the contract look bad), it could not be a better PR decision. You have fans who are so desperate to believe in the Orioles again that they are offering their own money to get this deal done. Just adding Teixeira alone would probably increase the Orioles' attendance by an average of 500 fans per home game (a total guess, but don't you think?) 40,000 new fans means an additional $1M/year in ticket prices alone. Factor in merchandisig, concessions, higher TV ratings, and you're looking at a considerable "Teixeira bump." I hope the number crunchers are factoring in just how much he would change the dynamic.
In essence, with one bold stroke (perhaps it would have to be a $200M stroke), the O's front office could clean the slate and start over. I think any lingering acrimony over the past 7-8 years would vanish overnight. People can have very short memories if there is something positive in the present to focus on.