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Mark Teixeira trades late-night yucks with Letterman

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira reacts during a

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira reacts during a 14-1 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Credit: AP)

Mark Teixeira, known more for his big hitting and slick fielding than his ability to yuck it up on late-night talk shows, appeared on Monday night's "Late Show with David Letterman."

CBS was nice enough to send a bunch of questions and answers from the appearance for those of you who don't stay up that late or haven't learned how to use a DVR.

Read it all below. That's it for the blogging today. I have reporter stuff to do.

Thanks to all of you who have hung in there as readers as we work out the kinks on the redesigned Web site.

Here's the Tex stuff:

Dave:  “A year ago at this time, any idea you’d be playing New York baseball?”

Mark: “A little idea, a little idea.  I always knew I wanted to come to New York.  It’s just a great place to play, obviously, and can’t beat the Yankees.”

Dave: "Well, now you can’t beat the Yankees, boy.”  (audience laughs) “I mean, that series with the Red Sox, it was like 26 to 9 and then 94 to 7, but, you’re done now with the Red Sox unless they get the Wild Card and you have to meet them in the playoffs.  Does that rivalry mean more to fans than to players or equally important to the players?”

Mark: “Yeah, it does mean a lot to us, obviouisly, but at the same time, it’s like Christmas day for the media.  I mean, they just, they absolutely love it.  And the fans, you know, it’s great for the fans both in Boston and New York.”

Dave: “Do you like playing up there?”

Mark:  “I like playing in New York better.” (Mark laughs, audience applauds)

Dave: “What happens when you go to play the Orioles, for example?  What happens when you go there?”

Mark: “Well, I’m from Baltimore.”

Dave: “They wanted you on the team, didn’t they?”

Mark: “I used to go to Orioles games as a kid with a Don Mattingly shirt on, I was a huge Mattingly fan.  Everyone my age is a Mattingly fan, so I’d get heckled as like an 8-, 9-year-old in Baltimore, and now, as a 29-year-old, I get heckled just the same.”  (audience laugh) 

Dave: “What did they do the first time you went back to play there?”

Mark: “Well, when I was with the Rangers, when I was a rookie, they loved me. ‘Oh, our hometown boy, we love you Mark, congratulations.’  I come back with the Yankees, and the boos were so loud, you couldn’t hear anything else going on in the stadium.” (Dave, audience laugh) 

*    *    *

Dave: “Now, you had that series up in Boston – today’s a day off for you guys, I appreciate you coming in.  Normally, what would you – how would you spend that day with your family.  What would you do?”

Mark: “You know, two things I love doing is just hanging out with the kids in the backyard playing, you know, playing on the swing set or going to play golf, and, you know, sometimes they don’t mix too well, so I’ve taught my son how to caddy, so now he goes out and plays golf with me.” (Dave, audience laugh)

Dave: (laughs) “And your son is how old?”

Mark: “Three years old.”

Dave: (laughs) “Is that legal?” (audience laughs)

Mark: “Yeah, you can teach kids – I don’t know, I don’t want you guys to call child services on me.” (audience, Dave laugh) “You know, you can teach kids at a young age, as long as they’re very young, don’t know any better, you can teach them all kinds of great things.” (audience, Dave laugh)

Dave: (laughing) “That’s the key, as long as they don’t know any better.”  (audience laughs, applauds)

*     *     *

Dave:  “There’s not a ball team in Major League Baseball that can touch you, is there? Come on.”

Mark: “Uh, I hope not.  You know, we still have a lot of work to do.”

Dave: “All right, let’s get a little bulletin board material here.”

Mark: “No, no, no, we still have a lot of work to do, but we’re having fun right now, we’re having a great time, and I’ll tell you this: being 7 ½ up is a lot better than being 7 ½ back.”

Dave: “Yeah, and you got off to a little bit of a slow start.  Typical, I guess, in your Major League days.  Were you worried about this slow start?”

Mark: “You know, every year I get off to a slow start.”

Dave: “What is the problem?  Aren’t you getting the work in in Spring Training?”  (audience laughs)

Mark: “I don’t know.”

Dave: “Hey, do you even go to Spring Training?” (audience laughs)  “You know, that’s why it’s down there for God’s sakes.” (audience laughs)

Mark: “You know what, there’s a lot of work put in there, but, you know, it just doesn’t translate in April for me.  You know, I want to keep the people here sweating a little bit in New York…We don’t want to just go to first place right away and have me hitting all these home runs, make them sweat a little bit.” (Dave laughs)

Dave: “Yeah, you want to taunt the New York fans, that’s – “ (audience laughs)

Mark: (laughs) “I thought that one through, didn’t I.”

Photo: AP

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