Mark Teixeira has been as outspoken as any baseball player about his desire to rid baseball of illegal performance-enhancing drug usage. But yesterday, he acknowledged the reality of the situation.

“I don’t think it’ll ever go away,” Teixeira said of illegal PEDs. “It’s just like taxes. The IRS can do everything they can. People are going to cheat on their taxes. The IRS can do everything they can to try to stop it. It’s not going to be 100 percent perfect.”

Teixeira is a former Yankees player representative and is very involved in the game’s larger issues. Yesterday morning, Players Association executive director Michael Weiner met with the Yankees; Weiner convenes with every club during spring training.

Weiner’s arrival prompted discussion of the illegal PED issue, and Teixeira agreed with Weiner that more stringent testing, rather than tougher penalties, is the best route to a cleaner game.

“If guys get caught, [a suspension of] 50 games and your name being tarnished, that’s a heck of a penalty for any player,” Teixeira said. “…I think the problem is that guys think they’re ahead of it. So I would rather fix the science side than just try to say, you’re banned for life the first time. I think that’s a little overboard.”

Teixeira described himself, fairly accurately, as someone who annually puts up about 30 homers and drives in 100 runs.

“And there were times when there were guys with 60 and 140,” he said. “And you go, ‘Goodness, there’s nothing I can do. I can’t take that many swings. I can never hit 60 home runs.’

“Those days are over.”