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Mark Teixeira, comic genius, a family affair

6/11/2014

You may have seen Mark Teixeira's funny "Foul Territory" videos for YES and thought, "Where did those come from?"

Teixeira has usually been accommodating with fans and media, showing some personality but nothing extraordinary. In the videos, though, he is pretty hilarious.

The idea to do the shorts for YES began with Teixeira's desire to welcome the Yankees' new free agents, like Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury, to the team. During spring training, Teixeira touched base with Yankees executive director of media relations Jason Zillo.

Zillo suggested he discuss some production ideas with Zillo's wife, Sadye, who is a freelance producer for YES and MLB Network. Teixeira and Sadye had built a relationship through the years, so they kicked it around one morning and developed the concept of Teixeira playing an intentionally awkward interviewer.

Two days of spring training filming later, Mark Teixeira, comic genius, was born.

"I wanted a way for the new guys to get broken in, in kind of a funny way -- not necessarily hazing, because I'm hazing myself more than anything," Teixeira told the Wall Street Journal.

In the videos, Teixeira comes up with some funny one-liners. He asks McCann, "I noticed you are not on Twitter or Facebook. How will fans be given an opportunity to berate you after bad games? How are they going to be able to say, 'Oooh, Brian, you went 0-for-4.' 'Oooh, Brian, your cleats don't look good.'"

At the end of the interview with Tanaka and his translator, Shingo Horie, Teixeira asks how the final handshake should go, wondering if he was supposed to shake Horie's hand and then Horie would shake Tanaka's hand.

Teixeira also acts as if he doesn't know how to operate in front of the camera, asking questions to the behind-the-scenes crew about basic TV mechanics. The woman's voice you hear in the background is Sadye's.

These days, Sadye is more than a producer who works Yankees games and the wife of the head of the team's media relations department. Now, she is the Lorne Michaels of Yankees comedy. Watch out, Jimmy Fallon.