...I trust in the wisdom of the federalbaseball.com readers, and so far 91 of you have spoken, with 92 votes total, my own included, and our collective opinion, at this moment, 12:38 pm EST on Friday December 19th, is that...(by a margin of 31 votes to 24, or 33% to 26% of those votes cast, in response to the question, "Will Mark Teixeira Accept the Washington Nationals' Offer?")...the 28-year old free agent first baseman, "Will SIgn With The NATIONALS!!!" Finishing second in the voting are those 24 voters or the 26% who think, "Teixeira Will Sign With Boston", though many probably voted before last night's events...The third biggest block of the voters, 19 total, or 20% percent of the vote, have Texeira returning to Anaheim, California with the Los Angeles Angels...
WHAT "THEY'RE" SAYING...
If Boston's exit from the race is a ruse, they're playing their role well, even convincing local newspaper writers to appear on ESPN to discuss what the Red Sox will do now that they've dropped out of the chase for Teixeira.
New York still hasn't tipped its hand, at least publically, with any offer they may have extended completely under the radar, (which in the New York Media Matrix is nearly impossible). Yahoo! Sports' blogger David Brown's post this morning entitled, "Owner John Henry says the Red Sox lost the Mark Teixeira derby", (pointed out by VA Slim, thanks!), reported that in addition to the Red Sox' owner John Henry's statements last night, Teixeira's agent Scott "Maximum" Boras had emailed Mr. Brown's Yahoo! Sport's colleague Gordon Estes with the following missive:
"'The Boston ownership was kind enough to request and travel to meet with Mark Teixeira. While it was a very positive meeting, Mark was candid and advised he is in the process of making a decision and is now attempting to eliminate teams.'"
Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin goes all Jan Brady with the title of his most recent Nationals Journal post, "Teixeira, Teixeira, Teixeira", where Mr. Sheinin warns that he doesn't fully believe Boston's story of withdrawal from the race, and cautions that now is the time to watch out for New York.
Tim Dierkes at mlbtraderumors.com has collected all the Teixeira news from around the country as of 9:33 am this morning in a post entitled, "Mark Teixeira Rumors: Friday", and the most interesting bit of reportage Mr. Dierkes cites comes from Mike Giovanni of the Los Angeles Times, who writes, in an article entitled, "Red Sox say they won't be a factor for Mark Teixeira", that he'd been texting Torii Hunter about the ongoing drama all night and the Angels' outfielder had exuded confidence in writing:
"'What the Angels did was spectacular, they gave him an offer that blew everyone away, and it shows how badly they want this guy,' Hunter said. 'I'm so happy they did that. I can sleep better at night. We can't let Tex go. He's very special on this team.'"
New York Post writer George A. King III quotes New York Yankees' GM Brian Cashman, in an article entitled, "Teixeira Too Rich For Red Sox", where Mr. Cashman says simply, "Not us" when asked if he knew who had gone overboard in their offer for Teixeira, and Mr. King's opinion adds credence Torii Hunter's claims, as Mr. King writes that of the three teams still believed to be involved if Boston is indeed out of the chase, the Nationals, Orioles, and Angels, "...the Angels were the favorite to be the one that topped the Red Sox offer."
Of course, that would mean, if you believe SI.com writer Jon Heyman's story yesterday entitled, "Red Sox still look like front-runners to win the Teixeira sweepstakes", the Angels would have had to have gone over the $200 million level some or Mr. Heyman's sources were claiming the Nationals had climbed to, though Mr. Heyman did offer the caveat, that if it wasn't Washington, then, "...someone else has."
MLB.com writer Tom Singer concluded early this morning, in an article posted at 1:32 am EST Friday and cleverly titled, "Hot Stove Roundup: Merry Tex-mas", that Red Sox' owner John Henry's claims of being outbid would seem to, "...remove the Orioles from the equation," but Mr. Singer then writes that, "...it might be folly to dismiss Teixeira's other hometown team, the Nationals," considering Teixeira's agents' history for setting precedents, or in Mr. Singer's words:
"True, the Nats lack the "winning tradition" entry on Teixeira's short checklist -- but, if agent Boras was able to sell Alex Rodriguez on the Texas Rangers in 2000, he could certainly sell Tex on the nation's capital in 2008."
The baseball world is still stuck on the news that the Red Sox have exited the race for the free agent first baseman, but no one has stepped up with proof of the "bigger offer", and even as more and more teams are eliminated, at least according to "unnamed sources", the Washington Nationals are still not being taken seriously as contenders for Mark Teixeira by anyone out there...Will "The Loose Cannon" Jim Bowden and the Washington Nationals be able to shock the world?