Teixeira has actually had his share. A fractured right ankle cost him much of his junior year at Georgia Tech and he missed the first two months of his first professional season in 2002 when he ruptured a tendon in his left elbow chasing a foul popup in Spring Training. He also missed two weeks in April 2004 with a strained oblique muscle.But nothing lately. "With the way the game is changing, it's nice to know guys still care about playing," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Guys like Tex and Michael Young, they have some real passion for the game. Nowadays, guys with health problems, they like to be cautious because there are so many dollar bills out there. They like to protect themselves. But these guys show up every day ready to play. You don't see that as much anymore." Teixeira saw it growing up. He was born in Annapolis, Md., grew up outside Baltimore and went to school in the city at Mount St. Joseph High School. He was first-hand witness to Cal Ripken's 2,632 consecutive-game playing streak. He admitted that influences his desire to play. "A lot," Teixeira said. "The great thing growing up in Maryland us that you get an Oriole game pretty much every day of the week and you always knew that Cal Ripken was going to be in the game. A lot of dads took their sons to see Cal Ripken and he didn't want to disappoint them. I feel the same way." Teixeira admitted that he's going to eventually disappoint somebody someday. He is not going to be the one to break Ripken's incredible record. "No chance," Teixeira said. "No way. I've been very blessed to play in 400-something games. There's no way I'm going to get 2,600-something games. For someone to play every game for 2,632 games, playing through pain, that's impressive." Teixeira should at least zip by Rodriguez. Washington has no desire to end the streak either, but he would like to get Teixeira more rest. He talked about the possibility of not starting Teixeira in a game, letting him rest for six innings and then bringing him in for the last three innings. "I don't know if he'll want to do that but I'm definitely going to suggest it," Washington said. Based on the past 2 1/2 years, it may be a tough sell.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less