by Matthew Taylor
Thomas Boswell tends to veer from his traditionally strong, objective baseball analysis into more of a boosterism role when it comes to writing about the Nationals. In Friday's edition of The Post, Boswell makes an only vaguely surreptitious case for Mark Teixeira to sign with Washington.
After outlining what he considers to be the three things most important to Teixeira - family, business, and winning - Boswell notes that no team offers him all of those elements at once. However, he strongly hints, there is one N.L. East franchise that can satisfy two of the three and potentially provide the third in the near future.
You can't really blame Boswell. His job would become a lot more interesting with Teixeira in town, and the boosterism would be that much easier to provide.
"Sometimes, there's a perfect fit. Usually, there's not. The future of franchises is murky. Mike Mussina left Baltimore to be a champion Yankee. Last month he retired after eight years and many millions, but without a Series win. Maddux turned down the Yanks, went to Atlanta for 11 years and never finished anywhere but first.
Since free agency began, one pattern seems clear. Some players can be happy anywhere; they should go where they think they'll win. Others know the place that will make them happiest. Go there. Win eventually. And get to smile while you wait."
On a related note, it would be greatly ironic and once more revealing about the business-above-all-else nature of baseball were Teixeira to sign with the Red Sox, the team that, in the player's own words, "spoiled me for everyone else" during the 2006 draft.
If Teixeira is going to sell out to the highest bidder, he should go to the Yankees, a team built on the practice (although the Yankees may just be driving up the numbers for the Red Sox).
If Teixeira is going to "come home," he should sign with the Orioles, the franchise that existed while he was growing up in Maryland.