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Containing a headline and some words, but little else
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Author:  Matthew Grieco [ Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Containing a headline and some words, but little else

Sharing a Name and a Rivalry, but Little Else

The New York Times
Published: January 22, 2009

BOSTON — Mark Teixeira just signed an eight-year deal to play for the Yankees. But Mark Teixeira hopes the Red Sox win every World Series between now and 2016.

Mark Teixeira is a fine baseball player who should help the Yankees win hundreds of games. But Mark Teixeira is a much better drummer, one of the best in New England, actually.

And while Mark Teixeira is known as one of the more durable players in baseball, Mark Teixeira is undergoing physical therapy for a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, the result of a nasty sledding accident.

Standard baseball contracts often prohibit such off-season activities, but musicians are free to hurtle down the side of a mountain at high speeds without legal reproach, and Mark Steven Teixeira, who grew up in nearby Pawtucket, R.I., did exactly that.

This Mark Teixeira is also one of the many Red Sox fans who were left frustrated after Mark Charles Teixeira spurned Boston at the last moment and chose to sign instead with the despised Yankees.

“Of all the teams to go to,” Teixeira the drummer said this week of Teixeira the player while sitting at a pub across the street from Fenway Park. “I really thought he was coming here. When he signed with the Yankees, I got all kinds of phone messages from friends of mine who weren’t happy about it. I think they blamed me for it.”

This tale of two Teixeiras is filled with contrast and will play out over the next eight years, spiced by the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Mark Steven Teixeira’s sticks are smaller, his gloves are made of wool and his preferred base is a bass drum. He can pound out a beat as well as Mark Charles Teixeira can pound out hits, and he has the CDs to prove it: “Saturday Night” (2006) and “Sneaky Child” (2007).

While Teixeira the first baseman has played alongside stars like Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero, Teixeira the drummer plays regularly with such jazz and blues luminaries as the guitarist Duke Robillard, the singer Toni Lynn Washington and the organist Al Kooper, who once famously backed up Bob Dylan.

At 39, Mark Steven Teixeira is 11 years older than his baseball counterpart, and at 6 feet and 185 pounds, is a tad smaller. And the two men do have things in common besides their name. They both played baseball at a young age, and they are both switch-hitters. They both make a living by holding pieces of wood in their hands. But Teixeira the drummer roughly makes in a year ($37,500) what Teixeira the player will now make in one plate appearance.

They both share Portuguese ancestry, with Teixeira being a relatively common name in Portugal. A reputable authority on the subject is the chancellor of the Portuguese consulate in Providence, R.I., for the last 28 years. His name is, appropriately, Leonel Teixeira, and although he has never heard of the drummer who lives up the road, he certainly has heard of the new Yankee.

“Oh, yes,” said Chancellor Teixeira, who is originally from Madeira. “I was hoping he would come to play for the Red Sox. Unfortunately, I am not related to him. Too bad I am not one of his cousins, eh? But there are many Teixeira in Portugal. Silva is the most popular name, and Teixeira is very common.”

A search of ReferenceUSA, a national database of phone numbers, turned up 24 Mark Teixeiras in the United States, though it is by no means a comprehensive list.

There have been several waves of Portuguese immigration to the United States, dating from 17th century. Many Portuguese immigrants came over in the 19th century to work in the whaling industry around Fall River and New Bedford in Massachusetts, and more came in the early part of the 20th century to work in the mills and factories in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Chancellor Teixeira says that 10 percent of the Rhode Island population claims Portuguese ancestry.

Six or seven years ago, a Google search of “Mark Teixeira” might have yielded several musical reviews and articles about the drumming Teixeira. But that changed when Teixeira the player, who is from Maryland, made his major league debut with the Texas Rangers in 2003.

“I was in physical therapy today and I told this Yankee fan what my name was,” Teixeira the drummer said. “He didn’t believe me. The therapist had to show him my chart. I get it all the time now. Usually at gigs one or two people will come up and ask me about it.”

Teixeira the drummer has decent baseball credentials. He played Little League; he grew up within walking distance of McCoy Stadium, the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox; and he attended his first game at Fenway Park in 1979, when he was 10.

Two years later, he and a friend attended the longest game in professional baseball history, the 33-inning affair between Pawtucket and Rochester that was suspended at 4:07 a.m., in the 32nd inning.

“My parents didn’t know where we were,” he said. “When I got home, they were a little upset, but they understood when I told them. We weren’t going to just leave.”

Teixeira, who has a 9-year-old daughter, started playing gigs in high school and, like the other Teixeira, travels extensively. He has performed in Russia, France, Spain, Italy and England — virtually every European country, in fact, except Portugal.

And for a while, he might have been the best known Mark Teixeira in the world. Until the other Mark Teixeira showed up.

“I’ve always kind of liked him,” the drummer said of the ballplayer. “With a name like that, he’s got to be a good guy, right? But you just hate to see him go to the Yankees. I hope he has a stellar career. But I hope he never beats the Red Sox.”

In case you missed the byline, the newspaper in which this "story" appeared was the New York Times. I cannot be silent.

Author:  Connfused [ Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Containing a headline and some words, but little else

Please tell me this didn't run in the sports section.

Author:  Matthew Grieco [ Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Containing a headline and some words, but little else

It did.

Author:  Bumfketeer [ Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Containing a headline and some words, but little else

Matthew Grieco wrote:
Sharing a Name and a Rivalry, but Little Else

. Mark Steven Teixeira’s sticks are smaller, his gloves are made of wool and his preferred base is a bass drum. .

** Awful, and yet I can't look away...

Author:  Editer [ Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Containing a headline and some words, but little else

This was probably done out of frustration at not being able to find "some regular guy with the same name as the new president" to interview.

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