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Thumbs up, Yankees: Teixeira ignores pain, hits go-ahead homer

Big League Stew

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MINNEAPOLIS — Mark Teixeira(notes) is one tough son of a...

Shut your mouth!

I'm just talkin' 'bout Tex. Can you dig it?

The guy is so tough, he — well — lies to his own manager about how his right thumb feels.

"I'm not sure Tex would ever tell me how much pain he's in," Joe Girardi said late Wednesday night after Teixeira hit a tie-breaking two-run home run that pushed the New York Yankees to a 6-4 victory against the Minnesota Twins in Game 1 of the ALDS.

Girardi revealed before the game that Teixeira received a cortisone injection in his right thumb about Sept. 20, three weeks after he bruised it diving to first base on defense.

Oh, and Teixeira also has been playing with a broken right pinkie toe.

The guy's a mess.

"You know, you break your toe and bruise your hand in the same week, it's like you don't have feet or hands to work with," Teixeira said with a smile. He says most things with a smile.

Teixeira kept quiet about the shot, probably, because he didn't want any more attention focused on how banged up he has been.

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"Right now, there's no time for worrying about taking days off and getting better," Teixeira said. "It is what it is, and I feel good enough to play."

Teixeira made Girardi uncomfortable in the third when he dived thumb-first to first base — C'mon, Tex — to beat baserunner Joe Mauer(notes) to the bag.

"I have to get that out," Teixeira said unapologetically.

"When he has to dive, that seems to bother it," Girardi said. Nah, Teixeira said. It only really hurts when he swings and misses.

"My goal is to not swing and miss," Teixeira said.

Teammate Nick Swisher(notes) knows what it's like to get a cortisone shot. Swisher couldn't even watch when he got his own shot, in his left knee, in mid-September. He literally shut his eyes.

"I don't do needles," said Swisher, who was stuck by a needle he guessed to be "four to seven inches long."

"It hurt like hell. But it works. It's a long season, man. Sometimes you need that to get you through or over the hump on a nagging injury," Swisher added.

After his shot kicked in, Teixeira slugged three homers and hit three doubles to close out the regular season.

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And now, a big playoff homer against Jesse Crain(notes).

Hooray for drugs!

"The cortisone shot definitely helped. Hopefully we won't need another one," Teixeira said. "But it's always in our back pocket. Hopefully, we'll be playing the next four weeks and if I need another one, I can get another one."

Well, I wouldn't keep the needles in my back pocket — you might need to slide feet first sometime.

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