So Long Johnny D

February 24, 2010 – 10:03 pm

Johnny DAt long last Johnny Damon has landed a contract for the upcoming season, and is thus the last of the 2009 World Champs to sign with another team. And it’s a shame, too, because as it turns out he probably could have re-signed with the Yankees for what he ended up getting from Detroit. Who’s fault it is that he couldn’t come to terms with the Yankees is anybody’s guess. I’m always highly suspicious of anything you read in the mainstream press about who said what and did what when it comes to contract negotiations like this. Everyone involved is playing the media and the fans and what really happens behind close doors I suspect we never really hear about. Bottom line, though, is Damon is going to be in a Tigers uniform next year, and I’ll be pulling for him. Defensively he was certainly an accident waiting to happen out in left field, but offensively he still seemed to have plenty of pop left — his SLG was .489 last year, his highest since 2000, and his OBP was .365, ten points higher than his career average. And he seemed to be the perfect fit in the batting order at the second position between Jeter and Teixeira. Plus, he always seemed to come through in clutch situations — it doesn’t get much better than what Damon did in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the World Series last year, with a 2-out single to keep the inning alive and bring Teixeira to the plate, and then his stealing second and third on the same play and ultimately scoring the winning run.

Like Hideki Matsui, I’m betting that there are going to be a lot of times in the coming season when we miss Johnny Damon.


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