KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mark Teixeira has been an All-Star three times, a Gold Glove winner five times, runner-up for the AL MVP in 2009 and hit more than 400 home runs in his 14-season big league career.
One might think that Teixeira, who will retire at the end of the this season, would feel slighted to hear that his stance was similar to that of a man who has never played baseball at any professional level.
On the contrary. Teixeira's reaction was almost over-the-top joy when he was informed that David Aardsma, a former pitcher for the New York Yankees -- and seven other big league teams -- said that Tim Tebow's batting stance reminded him of Teixiera's after pitching to Tebow at the former NFL quarterback's open workout for baseball scouts Tuesday afternoon.
"Yes!" Teixeira shouted. "Heisman Trophy winner! That is awesome!"
Teixeira said he had seen some video of Tebow's workout and came away impressed.
"His swing looks pretty good, I'm going to be honest with you," Teixeira said. "Obviously batting practice is different than regular pitching, but he's got a short stroke. He's got a powerful stroke. He's very balanced. I'm rooting for him, personally."
Teixeira admitted, however, to not noticing the similarity between his stance and Tebow's while watching the video.
"I'll have to look at it again," he said. "I think at times that I'm a little bit more spread out. Right now I'm standing up more because my knees have been bothering me the last few years. But I can see when I was a little bit further down, crouched a little bit more, I could see there's some similarities maybe."
Teixeira was out of the Yankees' lineup for the second straight night on Tuesday -- rookie Tyler Austin is playing first and Brian McCann is the DH for the middle game of the Yankees' series against the Kansas City Royals -- only not because of his sore knees, but his troublesome neck.
"His neck has been bothering him," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It’s better today, but I just thought I'd give him another day. It's just from a health standpoint I have to watch him somewhat closely, and I'm going to try to get him back out there tomorrow."
Like Teixeira, Girardi practically gushed over the prospect of Tebow switching sports à la Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, who played two seasons for the Yankees in 1989 and 1990.
"I think we’re all curious about it, because he's been a guy that's played football at a high level," Girardi said. "He's a high-character guy. He's a physical specimen. And it's interesting. I know some people have been critical of him trying to play, but isn't that what our country is about -- opportunities? I think it's kinda neat, personally."
"I think it's great for baseball," Teixeira said. "He's obviously an incredible athlete, and now he has a chance to maybe make the Major Leagues. It's probably a long shot but listen, let's watch. I'm in. I'm all in. Let's see what he can do."