I can honestly say that today marks the first day I actually know how to spell Mark Teixeira’s name without looking it up.

Beyond that…sooookay. Tex is going with the Yankees. Eight years. $180 million. The Yankees.

I’d be lying if my first response wasn’t something like this. It’s not something that you want to hear two days before Christmas. Surprise! The guy your team’s been going after just went to the Other Guys! The Bad Guys! Happy holidays – enjoy the popcorn balls!

I wanted Teixeira to sign with the Red Sox, partly because I did not want him to sign with the Yankees. I knew that signing Teixeira would lead to us having to say goodbye to Mike Lowell, a prospect that broke my heart a little. But looking at it from a cold, statistical point of view, we would be looking really good with Youk at third and Mark Teixeira at first; the Yankees would have that much more to overcome to get near us. Sorry, Mike. That’s baseball. Lots of love.

But we didn’t get him. For whatever reason. So know what? We have Youkilis at first, Pedroia at second and Mike “MVP of the 2007 World Series” Lowell at third (I intentionally ignored shortstop, thank you very much). That is an amazing infield. I LOVE that infield. I watched that infield succeed so many times over the last couple of seasons that I’m still insanely excited about that infield.

Would I have liked Tex’s bat? Obviously. But we didn’t get it. That’s baseball. Practice what we would have preached to Lowell.

It will be interesting to see what kind of statement Tex makes about this signing, but here’s my theory: the guy could have come on board with a successful, effective team but would have had to not only prove that he belongs in the organization, but also that he was worth giving up one of the ultimate players and clubhousemen in that organization. He would have been expected to join a lineup that works best when individual stars set their egos aside and work as a team.

Instead, he went with a team that is full of fantastic players. I truly respect some of the guys on the Yankees roster for their individual abilities. They are truly some of the best players in baseball right now. But rather than coming on board as a team player, the guy is going to be the superstar in a new class of Yankees, and he’s going to be able to be known (if they do well this season) as the guy who helped turn around the sinking ship. It is the ultimate ego massage. And if you’re going to be a player with an insanely massive contract, if you’ve spent all off-season having that ego stroked by team after team, that ego thing MUST play a factor.

He could have signed with us if he wanted the team approach and the Red Sox philosophy. He chose not to.

So if that’s his choice, I’m fine with it. Good luck in New York. Chat with A-Rod about how well that’s worked out for him. Get ’em playing well. I want to see them bring their A game when we face them.

At the very least, this is making the prospects of the coming season incredibly exciting. So I have to be happy about that. Baseball! It’s a few months away, but it feels like it’s getting so much closer now that Hot Stove is heating up.

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