• Dec

    Open Letter to Mark Teixeira

    Dear Mark Teixeira,

    Hey Mark. I know you need some more advice like you are going to need to worry about where your next meal comes from, but let's face it, if the media reports are true, it doesn't look like you are coming back home to play for the Orioles.

    Now obviously I have a vested interest in you coming back home to play for the Orioles. As the owner of Orioles Hangout, the more people that are interested in the Orioles the more people who come to the site and believe you me, the more I talk to the common fan on the street the more I realize how much you coming home to play is important to them.

    As you know, Baltimore is a place that loves their sports heroes. From Johnny Unitas and Brooks Robinson to Cal Ripken and Ray Lewis, Baltimore has a love affair with their local heroes and being a home town guy ramps it up a level. Just ask that Cal guy.

    I'm sure you are sitting back somewhere and taking all of this in and soon you will need to make a decision. What you already know is that regardless of what offer you take, you are going to be rich and wealthy beyond anyone's dreams.  So obviously, there needs to be something else that drives you.

    It's been mentioned that you are looking for a winning team and obviously with the Red Sox you are stepping into an already-built and winning organization. Clearly the Red Sox have avid fans and they can give you a chance at the post season right away, but the Red Sox are going to be contenders next year with or without you, and you are just going to be another hired henchman. On top of it, if you sign with the Red Sox or Yankees, you will become public enemy number one next year to most of your hometown fans. Not only will you have spurned your hometown, but you will be one of the guys paid to beat us 18 times a year and seeing you in that Red Sox uniform could make even your biggest hometown supporters turn on you.

    As for the Washington Nationals, I can't see you really taking that as an alternative. They have no history, a limited fan-base because almost everyone who lives near Washington is from somewhere else, and in their second year of their new ballpark they barely outdrew the last place Orioles.

    So why should you come back to the Orioles? First and foremost you will be a huge part of the Orioles rebuilding themselves into a contender. You along with Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and possibly Brian Roberts (who you have to imagine he will want to resign once you are signed) are four major league guys any team would love as a nucleus. Next year you will have Matt Wieters, Baseball America's minor league player of the year, in the lineup and when you look down on the farm, you will see left-hander Brian Matusz and right-handers Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta, all of which were among the top 50 prospects in all of baseball. Those three along with Jeremy Guthrie will give the Orioles a young starting pitching staff in a few years and by 2011 the Orioles could have the nucleus of a perennially contending team. That doesn't mean the Orioles can't compete until then, but that's probably when they can look at having the players in place who can compete in the AL East year in and year out.


    On top of it all, you will have the chance to be a local kid who comes home and leads his childhood team back to its winning tradition. Can you see yourself driving down Lombard Street on top of a convertible with hundreds of thousands of people screaming your name during a World Series celebration parade? Your name will be mentioned alongside those greats of the past and you will be a true local hero.

    It's your choice of course, but I know if it were me, I'd want to be the guy who took on the responsibility of putting the organization on my back and led them back to respectability while beating those high priced carpet baggers from Boston and New York. I would want to be a big part of the reason that Camden Yards was filled with Orioles fans again.

    The choice is up to you! Hero, or just another hired gun in a long line of hired guns. You have a chance to go down as something very special, or just another good baseball player who sold himself at every chance to the highest bidder with no allegiance to speak of.

    Your economic future is now secure, so the only thing left is what will be the legacy you leave behind?

    Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board

Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.