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BOSTON - MAY 9:  Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees smiles while talking to reporters before a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 9, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mark Teixeira

mark teixeira

Mark Teixiera: Improv Star

Spring training is the time for a team not only to meld and shake off the cobwebs on the field, but to bond as a team off of it. In Joe Girardi's mind, that calls for team field trips to institutions of fun. In previous years, for instance, he's engaged his team in a billiards tournament and an afternoon of video gaming to build camaraderie. This year, it meant plopping the entire team on stage for a little improvisational comedy. The Yanks headed to the Tampa Improv to perform as a group, and a star emerged.

Mark Teixeira — perhaps the stiffest, least demonstrative guy on the team — reportedly let loose in front of his teammates. Nobody will provide details beyond one hint that Tex busted out a Michael Jackson impression, but the reviews are sparkling:

Nick Swisher gave two thumbs up:

“I got one quote for you: Mark Teixeira, MVP,” Swisher said today. “That’s all I can say. I wish I could give you more, but I can’t.”

Ivan Nova wishes he had more hands:

“I saw Tex today in a way that I could have never imagined,” Nova said. “You should have seen him. I couldn’t stop smiling. It made me think about how we come from so many different places to become teammates and friends.”

Well, that sounds like precisely what Girardi was going for, right? Mission accomplished! Then again, this has the potential to backfire if Tex ever discovers UCB or something and finds himself too enraptured in the world of comedy to play first base anymore.

Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images