The news wasn’t the “worst-case” scenario Mark Teixeira and the Yankees feared, but it was far from a best-case.
An MRI on Monday showed that Teixeira, who was seen by team physician Christopher Ahmad, would be “unavailable to play for 10-14 days” because of an “irritation of his Grade 1 left calf strain,” theYankees announced.
The aggravation of the injury, which originally occurred Aug. 27 against the Blue Jays and had healed to about “80 percent” according to Teixeira, took place on the final play of Saturday night’s 5-4 loss in Baltimore when he grounded into a game-ending double play. (Replays showed he was safe at first base.)
Teixeira, trying to protect the calf, made a headfirst dive into first. “All game, it didn’t feel right, but when I had to bust it down the line on that last play, it wasn’t going to allow me to go,” Teixeira said after Sunday’s game.
Not that he regrets giving it a go.
“You’re always worried anytime you’re hurt but I had to try it out,” the first baseman said. “If you wait until you’re 100 percent, I’d be waiting months probably. You have to see if you can play at 80 percent or 90 percent, and I couldn’t. It definitely worries you a little bit . . . I had to test it out. I had to test it out for myself, for the team, see where I was, and it just wasn’t ready.”
The Yankees, who start a three-game series in Boston Tuesday night, will make do the same way they did during the 10-game stretch Teixeira missed, with Nick Swisher getting the majority of starts at first base. Steve Pearce will also see time there and Eric Chavez is an option, as well.
“We need other guys to pick up the slack,” Joe Girardi said.
Teixeira said he thought the calf being 80 percent healed would be enough. “When I come back next time, we’ll make sure it’s better than 80 percent,” he said. “Again, it’s not going to be 100 percent. We know that, we just have to make sure I can do a little more.”
Teixeira made other news Saturday night, blasting the umpiring crew — and first-base umpire Jerry Meals specifically. “Sometimes you wonder if the umpires are just trying to get out of there,” he said. “They don’t want you to make a comeback. They want to go home.”
As of late Monday afternoon, an MLB spokesman said it was “still reviewing” the comments, and a Yankees team source speculated that a fine might not be forthcoming, saying given how obvious the blown call was and that crew chief Mike Winters refused to acknowledge it, MLB might prefer to “just leave it be.”