Mark Teixeira wants to return from wrist injury by May 1

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As of two weeks ago Mark Teixeira was saying he might not return from his wrist injury until June, but now he’s apparently aiming for May 1.

Teixeira was initially given an 8-10 week timetable on March 5 and according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com the Yankees think May 1 would be really optimistic, but if the first baseman is cleared by a doctor next week he could begin swinging a bat and then a minor-league rehab assignment would be the next step.

He also noted that surgery remains a possibility, but “only if it never gets better.” And so far “it’s progressively gotten better, at this point … absolutely it has.”

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?