Mark Teixeira says the 10-foot wide warning track encircling the outfield at Yankee Stadium is "very dangerous'' and "needs to be fixed.''
Teixeira, who is out for the remainder of the post-season after suffering a Grade II hamstring strain running to first base in in the fifth inning of Tuesday's Game 4 loss, was asked this afternoon about the near-injury to his replacement at first base, Lance Berkman, whose feet flew out from under him chasing a pop fly near the seats in Wednesday's Game 5 and landed on his lower back.
"That's a very dangerous part of our ballpark,'' said Teixeira, who will remain with the team for the remainder of its playoff run. "It's basically concrete with sand on it. If you are running for a ball down the line and have to stop quickly, as Lance was trying to do, you can slide a little bit. I’ve dove a few times and I always come up with scrapes on my arms and on my knees. It’s just not a safe surface.''
Berkman, who took batting practice this afternoon and said he will not be limited for Friday night's Game 6, likened that portion of the field to "playing on an ice rink.''
Manager Joe Girardi stopped short of criticizing the ballpark and mentioned that Berkman was wearing plastic spikes at the time of the slip, but changed into metal spikes afterward. "A lot of times plastic spikes don't give you the same grab in other places that they do in the infield,'' said Girardi, who seemed to imply that the issue of an unsafe warning track was something that had not been brought to his attention. "If we feel it's something we need to address, we'll address it.''