Among the reasons brought up by some after the Yankees sleepwalked through the ALCS was that they were too old.

It's a sentiment the Yankees didn't agree with, but Mark Teixeira said he knows it's something that can hurt a team.

"Let's be honest, the older you get, the tougher it is to stay healthy; the tougher it is to stay productive," Teixeira said. "Guys don't retire because they get bored. Guys retire because they're too old to perform at that high level. We have a bunch of older guys, but in certain times that experience really helps. And we've had an 'old' team all four years I've been here and we won more games than any team in the American League."

General manager Brian Cashman said he's not worried so much about a player's age if he still can do the job. For most of the season, the Yankees did that.

But they haven't been back to the World Series since 2009.

"Unfortunately, we had a rough ALCS," Teixeira said of the four-game sweep to the Tigers. "And you can throw out 10 different scenarios for why that happened. The fact is we didn't play well enough."

Though a year ago Teixeira talked about going the other way to beat the shift, shedding a few pounds to get faster on the basepaths — and even bunting — he insists he has done thinking of reinventing himself.

"It's about hitting," Teixeira said. "I make my money in the field and at the plate. If I can drive in 100 runs, hit 30 home runs and win a Gold Glove, I'm happy with that."

Teixeira's 2012 was derailed by a series of ailments and injuries, from a mysterious cough that sapped his energy for much of the early part of the season, then wrist and calf problems bothered him much of the second half.