NEW YORK (WFAN) -- First baseman Mark Teixeira says it's been "brutal" not being able to take the field for the New York Yankees during their playoff push.
Teixeira, who had season-ending wrist surgery, phoned into WFAN's "Boomer & Carton" show Wednesday after the surging Yankees came from behind to stun the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
"It's been pretty painful, and I'm not talking about my wrist," Teixeira told Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton. "I knew that we would be having to kind of scratch and claw all season long. So when I finally had to have the surgery in July -- it's been brutal. Not being able to help your team out in a season where they could really use me, in a season that we're not in first place, we don't have a cushion, it's been really tough."
Teixeira said his teammates have their game faces on for the final month of the season.
"This is playoff baseball. I was downstairs before the game yesterday watching (Alfonso) Soriano get ready. Alex (Rodriguez) walks down, Derek (Jeter) walks down, and you're seeing them with that focus," he said. "Not that we don't have that focus all year long, but you have that focus that this is playoff baseball. We know we need these games."
The Yankees have been a different team offensively with the addition of Alfonso Soriano. Oh, and there's that guy in the middle of the order named Rodriguez, who is playing while he appeals a 211-game suspension for alleged PED use.
Teixeira said A-Rod looks "really healthy" after offseason hip surgery and also talked about Rodriguez's positive influence on slugger Robinson Cano.
"I think one thing that we have to understand is how important Alex is to Robbie Cano -- and I'm not just talking about on the field," Teixeira said. "Off the field, Robbie Cano and Alex are really good friends. They love hanging out, joking around in the clubhouse.
"I pulled Alex aside a couple days ago and I said, 'Alex, I love seeing you back here because of what it's doing to Robbie.' And Robbie, not that he's really ever struggled this year, but you see him turning it on again."
The Yankees trail the Tampa Bay Rays by 2.5 games for the final AL wild card spot. The Oakland A's would have the other spot if the season were to end today.
"It would be one thing if we're chasing one team," Teixeira said. "If we were just chasing Oakland or just chasing the Rays, we could say, OK, let's just watch what they're doing. But Baltimore's there. Cleveland's there. Kansas City's there. All these other teams are kind of hanging around, so every single game is that much more important."
Teixeira and WFAN's Carton will go head-to-head managing in a little league game for Harlem RBI on Friday.
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