Teixeira: A-Rod made 'bad decisions,' but he's 'not a bad person'


TAMPA, Fla. -- Mark Teixeira makes a distinction between the choices and the man.

On the first day of full spring training workouts for the Yankees, Teixeira made this clarification in discussing his new/old teammate Alex Rodriguez:

“There are a lot of people who make bad decisions,” Teixeira said. “Alex is not a bad person. I’ll be the first one to tell you that. Alex has made bad decisions. He has owned up to them. Hopefully, now we can kind of get past it. That is something that if he was still denying it and coming in here and trying to put on a different face -- he told everyone he was sorry.”

When it was pointed out to Teixeira that A-Rod has said sorry before and then acted the same way, Teixeira was still ready to move on.

“That’s a whole different conversation, I guess,” Teixeira said. “As we sit here today, Alex said he is sorry. He is a good teammate. I think everyone in here will tell you, Alex is a good teammate. We love having him on the field. He works with young guys. He is always willing to stay late and talk about the game. I love talking baseball with Alex. That is what I missed last year more than anything was sitting around talking about the game, talking about hitting with him.”

Teixeira's career has occurred during parts of the steroid era, but he has never been linked to performance-enhancing drugs. His career has been on a borderline Hall of Fame trajectory. While he earned a $180 million contract, in theory, he could be denied a place in Cooperstown because of players who juiced.

“I’ve been outspoken," Teixeira said. "I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all. If you are willing to take that chance, then that is something that you have to look in the mirror. I’m not going to change anyone’s mind, so it is one of those situations, it is what it is. We all had kids in school who cheated on their tests, and we worked hard and maybe got a B and they got an A. That’s life.”

Right after A-Rod was suspended, Anthony Bosch -- the faux doctor and baseball's star witness who ran the Biogenesis clinic that Rodriguez got caught up with -- said on "60 Minutes" that nearly everyone in baseball was still doing illegal substances.

“It is better than it has ever been,” Teixeira said. “I came up in ’03 when we had some weird testing. There was testing but you could still do it. There were no penalties, whatever. There were still a lot of guys doing it. There were. The middle 2000s, late 2000s, baseball did a great job of putting things in place. You are always going to have cheaters. You are always going to have guys trying to beat the system. Whatever it is -- taxes, breaking the speed limit, whatever. So I think for us to think that no one is going to try and bend the rules, it is a little naive. I give the commissioner’s office a lot of credit. I give the players' association a lot of credit for working together to try the best we can.”