Saturday, August 4, 2012

Johnny Damon is looking for a job: Did we blow it by getting Ichiro?

Yesterday, the Indians waived Johnny Damon. The great Johnny Damon. The great Yankee, Johnny Damon.

In a perfect world, we would sign him.

Correction: In a perfect world, he would have never been stuck in Cleveland.

Johnny was hitting .222 with 4 home runs. That's not Johnny Damon. That's Lenn Sakata. It looks like it could be the end. Not only that, but he joins Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui as former Yankee LH outfielders cut loose this week. (Abreu from the Dodgers, Godzilla from the Devil Rays.)

All of them, scrapped just days after we scratched our LH LF itch with Ichiro. (Ich with Ichiro, get it? That's wordplay!) Right now, it's hard to imagine why the Yankees would sign any of them. (Well, actually, it's not hard: A couple injuries could do it quickly.) 

I have no desire to see Abreu wear a Yankee uniform. Nothing against the guy, but too many catchable balls hit the wall on his watch. Matsui always will be a great Yankee; I wish there was a way. He had a great Yankee run.

Damon, though, is another matter. I have been an irrational Johnny Damon backer since he refused a trade to the Redsocks during the 2010 pennant race. It was one of those rare moments that only a psycho Yankee fan can appreciate. Here was a player who gave that city and team everything he had - Damon was a key part of the 2004 championship; he hit the grand slam in game seven that killed us. Then the ownership told him to take a hike. They wouldn't pay him what he was worth, and they ran him out of town -- and the fans drank their Kool-aid. (As Yankee fans drank our Kool-aid when we jettisoned AJ Burnett; are you listening, Mustang?) When Damon signed with the Yankees - the most important contract of his life, the one that would guarantee his family financial security - Boston suddenly hated him, reviled him, defaced his image. They suddenly became post-Stalin Russia.

So when the time came in 2010, when they needed a LH bat for a pennant drive against the Yankees, he said no.

I write from a part of the brain known as the medula rizzutongatta. It doesn't always make sense. But that day, Johnny Damon became a lifelong great Yankee. Remember: He is only human being capable of stealing two bases at once.

Yes, we now have Ichiro, a future Hall of Famer. But Johnny Damon will also go into Cooperstown. The expanded rosters are a 27 days away. Sign him, Cash. SIGN HIM, put him on the DL for 15 days, then rehab him for a week. Do something. SIGN JOHNNY DAMON, AND YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT.

Damn. If only it were a perfect world...


MUSTANG said...

I'm a big fan of your imaginary Yankee team. Damon! Burnett! Hey, look, it's Bubba Crosby! You know who we ought to get? Karim Garcia! Also, Drew Henson's only 32! Go Imaginary Yankees!

el duque said...

And congratulations to you for your part in the AJ Burnett trade. Are you following the youngsters down in the Gulf Coast League that we got in the deal?


I'm counting all the runs he's not giving up in the Bronx.

Johnny damon said...

Johnny would hit if he came back.

Anonymous said...

5 years later and you still call us the Devil Rays. It's RAYS and MATSUI
Did nothing here. You would also think that you could spell RED SOX.
2 teams in your own division and you don't even know who they are.
BTW Johnny Damon was great in Tampa Bay and I think we missed his
leadership this year.

Tampa Bay Rays fan