Results tagged ‘ Detroit ’
Relax, Yankees fans, Johnny Damon is not going back to being an “Idiot.”
He cut off his Red Sox connection for good Tuesday with the announcement that he will remain in Detroit and not approve a trade to Boston, which claimed him off waivers. Damon talked about wanting to be a mentor to the young players with the Tigers, but his decision also indicated a likely belief that the Red Sox aren’t really in the American League East chase as firmly as the Yankees or the Rays. Can you imagine his turning down the opportunity to play for either of those teams?
I can’t help but believe that the Red Sox’ claim on Damon was done primarily to block him from being picked by the Yankees or Tampa Bay. If he had agreed to accept a trade back to Boston, the Red Sox could have used him in the outfield, and the move would not have been all that costly since they would pick up a pro-rated portion of his $8 million salary for about six weeks.
Damon came up with the “idiot” term for the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox that their players used affectionately and proudly. He would have been a real idiot as far as Yankees fans are concerned if he went back to Fenway Park.
Are Yankees fans ready to start booing Johnny Damon? That would seem ludicrous considering how he won over the hearts of New Yorkers in his four seasons with the Yankees, not an easy thing to do for someone who came to the Bronx from Boston.
Just a week ago, fans treated Damon, who left the Yankees after his heroics in the 2009 World Series as a free agent and signed with the Tigers, to a standing ovation in his first game back at Yankee Stadium. He even got a pass for his remarks about Brett Gardner claiming Detroit players felt the slide into Tigers second baseman Carlos Guillen’s left knee that put him on the disabled list was “dirty.”
But what happens if Damon winds up back with the Red Sox?
It could happen. Damon confirmed Monday that he was selected by the Sox off waivers from the Tigers and that he has until Wednesday to agree to a trade that would put him back in a Boston uniform for the first time since 2005, the year after they ended the “Curse of the Bambino” with their first World Series championship in 86 years.
Damon is understandably hesitant since his departure from Boston and subsequent treatment from Fenway Park fans since he left were far from amicable. Damon’s contract with the Tigers has a limited no-trade clause. Boston was not on the list of clubs to which he would accept a trade, but that was before he knew that Detroit would fall out of the running for the American League Central title while the Red Sox remain in the hunt in the AL East.
It is also not clear if the Red Sox really wanted Damon or put in a claim merely to block him from another team, specifically the Rays. Tampa Bay could use help in the designated hitter spot, so much so that there has been some speculation that they might be interested in another 2004 Red Sox hero, Manny Ramirez, if the Dodgers placed him on waivers, which is likely.
With David Ortiz as the fulltime DH, Damon would have to play in the outfield for the Red Sox where they have vacancies because of the season-ending injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron.
One thing is for sure. If Damon goes back to Boston, he can forget another standing ovation at the Stadium.