Sox Trumped By Yanks for Teixeira

So the Boston Celtics – the most storied franchise in pro basketball - set a record for the longest winning streak in team history, AND beat the NBA record for the best start in league history (27-2)…and they can’t even be the lead sports story in Boston? Instead, all the coverage and talk is about a player that the Red Sox didn’t sign?

Yup.

Internet reports starting trickling out in the late morning yesterday that Mark Teixeira was ready to finally make a decision on where he was going to sign. The Red Sox seemed to be the favorite. On SI.com, Jon Heyman warned that the Yankees were lurking, but it seemed easy to dismiss that as simply Scott Boras propaganda.

By mid-afternoon word was out that the Yankees had actually swooped in and sign Teixeira from under Boston’s noses, stunning those who had placed their middle of the lineup hopes in the first baseman.

Brian Cashman and the Yankees have an odd, but very effective negotiating tactic when it comes to players. In the case of CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, the Yankees interest was well known, and the negotiations were almost public. It could be because the Yankees knew the Red Sox weren’t serious interested in either player. The Red Sox were interested in Teixeira, and the Yankees knew that too, so they kept quiet about their interest, even releasing carefully worded denials that they were involved in talks. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, they come in at the last moment and beat all other offers.

They seem to have done this a couple of times now. The Johnny Damon signing a few years back was another example. I recall the Yankees seemingly having no interest in Damon until the day he signed with them, beating the offer the Red Sox had on the table.

In any event, it seems clear that the Yankees clearly enjoy pulling the rug out from under the Red Sox when it comes to free agent signings.

Adam Kilgore outlines how the Yankees swept in and grabbed Teixeira from the Red Sox and Nationals. Sean McAdam has weeks of back-and-forth negotiations coming to an unhappy end for the Red Sox yesterday. Daniel Barbarisi notes how the Red Sox pushed Scott Boras for an answer after increasing their offer on Monday. Dom Amore has the Yankees taking their spending spree from wild to epic with this move.

Nick Cafardo calls this a “knockout punch” by the Yankees. Knocked out of what, exactly? Steve Buckley says that this deal is great for the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. Mike Fine says the loss of Teixeira hurts, but it doesn’t cripple the Red Sox. Brian MacPherson says that this is the Yankees’ idea of going young. Dan Lamothe says that the Yankees got to us on this one.

Bob Ryan says that this is the Yankees (and the Steinbrenners) sending a loud message – “We’re back!” Bill Burt claims that the Red Sox just didn’t want Teixeira enough. Jeff Jacobs says that this is just the Yankees doing what they do best. Steve Krause says that John Henry dropped the ball on this one. Curt Schilling weighs in as well.

With this issue settled, Barbarisi says that the Red Sox now can concentrate on acquiring a catcher.

Celtics Make it 19 in a Row

The Celtics won a franchise record 19th game in a row last night, routing the Philadelphia 76ers 110-91 at the Garden last night. Frank Dell’Apa has the fans at the garden last night already looking forward to the matchup with the Lakers. Mark Murphy says there is no avoiding history for the Celtics now. Bill Doyle has the Celtics heading out cross country a night ahead of Santa. Jim Fenton looks at another historical night for the Celtics.

Monique Walker has the Celtics players not focused on their winning streak. Patrick Gilroy says that continued good health and humility are about the only things Danny Ainge can wish for this Christmas. Steve Buckley says that the game everyone has been waiting for Celtics-Lakers, is finally here. Burt says that the L.A. Fakers are back at it again. Lenny Megliola says that the suits at league headquarters and at the ABC network are hyperventilating over this game tomorrow. Bill Reynolds says that Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins can no longer be overlooked on this team. Paul Flannery tells us how Lakers/Celtics really is just another game.

Dell’Apa’s notebook has the crowd clearly into the L.A. game on tap tomorrow. Murphy’s notebook has Glen Davis inactive again last night after his car accident last weekend. Doyle’s notebook says that 19 games isn’t a lot to Rajon Rondo, who won 44 in a row in high school. Fenton’s notebook has the Celtics celebrating the holiday with their families in the locker room after the game.

Bruins Shut Out Devils

Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins proving they can muck and grind for wins as well. The Herald had Sean McAdam on the Bruins beat last night, and he’s got the Bruins beating the Devils at their own game.

Joe Haggerty notes that Phil Kessel and Jon Lester have a lot in common.

Shinzawa’s notebook has Zdeno Chara returning to form on offense as of late. McAdam’s notebook has Tim Thomas taking a winning turn in net.

Patriots Prep For Final Exam in Buffalo

Mike Reiss takes a closer look at the three games that will determine the Patriots playoff fate this weekend. It still doesn’t look too good for the Patriots. Karen Guregian wonders about the possible absence of Richard Seymour this weekend. Eric McHugh says that offense is once again this team’s strong suit. Mark Farinella has the Patriots just focusing on their own business for now. Rich Garven has the Patriots offense juiced after a slow start to the year. Shalise Manza Young says that everything has been adding up on offense for the Patriots.

Ben Swasey would like to end the “trade Brady”  idiocy. Farinella offers a number of Ponderous thoughts. A disturbing bit in the Projo informs us that in the six times that the Patriots have needed help to get into the postseason…they’ve never gotten it. Burt has Ron Jaworski gushing over Matt Cassel.

Reiss’ notebook has Junior Seau comparing Mike Vrabel to Karl Mecklenburg. Guregian’s notebook has Matt Light talking about playing in pain. McHugh’s notebook has Matthew Slater and Russ Hochstein enjoying their dual roles with the team. Young’s notebook has more on Seymour’s back injury.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    Well, this Yankee negotiating tactic sures suckers in the Boston Sports media everytime. Weeks and weeks (at least it seemed like weeks and weeks) of the blowhards telling us Teixeira to the Red Sox was just about a “done deal” and how the Yanks “aren’t involved”…….you know, it wouldn’t bug me when their wrong but it’s in THE WAY they report it….acting as if they are stating A FACT, acting like they had some inside knowledge, when all they were doing was taking a WILD GUESS

  • http://www.yankees.com Mark Teixeria

    Bruce: Is your new motto bah humbug? First you say the Pats have no shot at the playoffs (far from the case) and now you’re ragging on the media for largely ignoring the Celtics in December (rightly so), and covering Boston’s failure to sign me, the biggest free agent signee of the offseason? This just in: I’m kind of a big deal. My advice? Have some eggnog, sit back, relax, enjoy the holidays, and get some sleep!

    • Bruce

      Mark – I will be thrilled beyond belief if the Patriots can make the playoffs, because I think they can make some noise there. My pessimism over their chances stems from the total ineptitude of the New York Jets. I think I’m saying they have no chance so that I can be pleasantly surprised if they actually get in.

    • naop

      Mr. Teixeria,

      Maybe you should focus on spelling your name correctly. My advice? Stay away from the eggnog.

  • http://www.patriotsdaily.com Scott

    I don’t think its far from the case that the Pats have no shot for the playoffs. I think its a pretty fair guess. Jacksonville is right up there with Dallas for biggest flop of the year and we have all seen very vividly in the last couple of weeks what a minor-league operation the Jets are. Obviously they have to play the games but it is extremely grim for the Pats. Today’s ProJo piece illustrates how little ‘help’ the Pats have gotten in these situations over their history, and as a pal just reminded me, they could have gotten help a half dozen times this year already, and they haven’t gotten it. I think Bruce’s summary today was extremely reasonable.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      we’re all so focused on the Jets/Dolphins game….what a kick in the ass it would be if the Pats lose to the Bills…..can’t wait for Sunday….all this predicting the future stuff is giving me a headache……

  • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

    Given the unbelievable ineptitude the Yankees showed the last eight times they did this, I can’t believe the media and Red Sox “Nation” is ready to give up on 2009. IN DECEMBER!

  • howzie

    I agree with Jon in re: the Tex signing. One all-star appearance, one top-10 in MVP, #20 among active players in adjusted OPS+. Would have been a nice addition, but the Sox did make it to game 7 of the ALCS without him.

    The Jets could very well win…Miami isn’t exactly a powerhouse themselves. Unlike Scott and Bruce, I still think Pats will be in the tournament, and I guess Scott’s friend forgot about the help the Squawks gave the Pats this weekend

    • http://www.patriotsdaily.com Scott

      No, I don’t think he forgot that, but rather, he was thinking about Jax-Indy, or Dal-Balt, or SF-Mia, and most especially Buf-NYJ. True that if the Hawks hadn’t beaten the Jets we wouldn’t have much to discuss this weekend, but I think the preponderance of evidence suggests help has been very hard to come by.

  • Dan

    The funniest part about the Tiextera (however that Yankee’s name is spelled) saga is that the media spent the last week telling us how great it was to see John Henry draw a line in the sand/call Boras’ bluff/whatever you want to call it. The narrative of the last week – pre Tues. afternoon – was that the Sox know how Boras operates, that they were smart to set a price and be willing to walk away if the offers from other teams were astronomical, and that if he chose another team because they offered more money, so be it, the Sox have a great team without him and significant young depth in the minors.

    Today? The Sox got outplayed by the Yankees, needed to increase their offer to make sure they got him regardless of cost, and are now the third best team in their own division. While last week it was smart to say yes to 22m/yr and no to 24m/yr, as of today they should have abandoned that philosophy and kept going up until the Yankees did the (previously) smart thing and said “ok, we were willing to do 30m, but 31m is too much. Take him.”

    From what I’ve heard/read so far, it seems like Rob Bradford is the lone voice of reason in the media on this one.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      exactly….nice work if you can get it….spout off opinions, act like you know everything, when your totally wrong? run away from said opinion, act like you never said it…sit in the weeds, then come out AFTER THE FACT and act like YOU KNEW what the right move was all along……nice work indeed