Blog Entry

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

Posted on: February 16, 2012 2:13 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 2:28 pm
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Johnny Damon doesn't get it, doesn't get why he's not getting offers after the year he had. Damon didn't get why he didn't receive an offer from the incumbent Rays after he was a leader for them in the clubhouse and on the field, and now he doesn't get why he seemingly is running second as a candidate to be the Yankees' left-handed DH.

"I think it's a perfect fit,'' Damon said of the Yankees by phone. "But for some reason you have the year I had, especially with a team that has trouble scoring, and you can't even get a call to continue playing."

It is hard to blame Damon for feeling left out. The whole thing does seem very odd, indeed.

Damon said he never got an offer from the Rays even though he had a very nice year, hitting 16 home runs with 73 RBIs with 19 stolen bases and a .261 batting average while playing home games in the ballpark that was the best pitchers' park American League last year. He also put together an improbable streak of five consecutive games with game-winning hits and became a leader with the young team that had a magical finish. Now he is concerned that the Yankees are leaning toward someone else (namely Raul Ibanez), and indeed the team's baseball people do seem to be favoring Ibanez for the DH role even though it seems no final decision will be made until the Yankees complete the long-discussed deal with Pittsburgh to send A.J. Burnett out of town and save themselves about $13 million of the $33 million owed Burnett.

Meanwhile, different reasons have been heard why the Yankees favor Ibanez, one sillier than the next.

One reason heard is that Ibanez hit better against right-handed pitchers last year, and if you count .256 as better than .255, then yes, that is the case. But it seems like that would be far from a driving force in a decision.

Another is that Ibanez is a better defender at this stage, and while he might well be, Damon is faster and the reality is that they are probably pretty close to comparable at this point. Damon didn't play much defense last year when the Rays had better defensive alternatives such as Brandon Jennings, B.J. Upton and Sam Fuld. "When you have Jennings and Upton, of course I'm going to DH," Damon said. "When I played out there, I held my own."

But even if Ibanez is slightly better with the glove now, having played it regularly in Philly, defense seems like a funny way to pick a DH.

Yet another reason heard recently is that Damon's .326 on-base percentage last year is a sign he's thinking too much about 3,000 hits and not getting on like before. This is the winner for sheer ridiculousness of course, as Ibanez's 2011 on-base percentage of .289 (with 33 walks all year) would be the statistic of concern, not Damon's .326. Speaking of 3,000 and the suggestion he's too focused on it, Damon said, "It makes for good talk. ... Everyone wants to get to the mark. But I never started playing the game for that. I never had any intention of getting to 3,000 hits -- it's never been a driving force for me. I always had the intention of being a good teammate."

Damon is more than a fine teammate, he's been a key man on two World Series winners, the historic 2004 Boston Red Sox and the 2009 Yankees. Damon is a winner, always has been. Ibanez is by all accounts a very nice fellow, but Damon is a big clubhouse presence who always has been the one to stand up and answer the tough questions when things aren't going well.

Damon, who at 38 is also a year younger than Ibanez, may not be the defender he once was, but the job is for a DH, and Damon has all the experience at that. Damon also has a superb history in the American League East, having thrived for all three of the big teams in that division.

Damon and the Yankees had a very public breakup a couple winters ago when he was expected to wind up back in pinstripes. The sides never got together when a deal had once seemed like a foregone conclusion. But Yankees people say there are no lingering bad feelings.

It can't be about the money, either, because Damon hasn't gotten an offer. He said he didn't get one from Tampa, which gave Luke Scott a $5 million deal off an injury year, and he hasn't gotten one from the Yankees yet. So Tampa took Scott off a year of injuries, and Damon sees that Ibanez may get the job he wants after Ibanez's season of outs.

Damon is in Hawaii enjoying a planned vacation. But he has one eye on the phone.

"Hopefully it rings soon," he said, "and whether it rings in a few minutes or a few weeks, I'll be ready with the bat."

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Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 6:33 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

Johnny Damon is concerned that the Yankees are leaning toward someone else (namely ), and indeed the team's baseball people do seem to be favoring Ibanez for the DH role even though it seems no final decision will be made until the Yankees complete the long-discussed deal with Pittsburgh to send  out of town and save themselves about $13 million of the $33 million owed Burnett.
As expected, the  have agreed to a one-year, $1.1 million deal with veteran outfielder , CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman confirms. The deal is pending a physical.
Signing Raul Ibanez rather than Johnny Damon saved the Yankees 7 million dollars. They saved 13 million when they shipped A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh. Twenty million saved paid for the 20 million they paid the Pirates to take Burnett. How's that for new age math.



Since: Nov 23, 2010
Posted on: February 18, 2012 1:52 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

First of all, the Rays LF is Desmond Jennings, not Brandon.
Second of all, Scott Boras.

Nuff said?



Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:58 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

In case you missed it, there's this interesting analysis of Mr. Heyman and his habitual focus on Scott Boras clients. http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/2012/

02/heyman-by-the-numbers-38590


West Coast Guy
Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2012 8:09 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 5:03 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

Who wrote this piece?  Damon's agent?  The reason the phone hasn't rung is that teams have all figured out the same thing.  They can get the same production that Damon would give them in 2012 from a marginal player for pennies on the dollar.  And, let's face it, Damon's outfield days are over.  He never had a strong arm and, now, watching Damon throw is like watching your kid sister try to throw the ball into the cut-off man who's running halfway onto the outfield grass to shorten the throw. So, that limits Damon to AL teams looking for a DH. And there's not many of those around. Why not use the spot for a utility player who can also play the field? Why not develop a youngster instead of using a roster spot for an aging mercenary looking to get to 3,000 hits?  Damon's simply not good enough to warrant the money or the roster spot.  THAT'S the story here.




Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2012 4:55 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent


Both Damon and Ibanez are a wasted roster spot.  Neither one of these players will improve this lineup in any way.  The Yankees need to stop half-stepping and either go out there and get a real DH who is going to make a difference in this lineup or just give a young player with some upside potential, a la Chris Dickerson, a chance. 



Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2012 3:39 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

It's because of his blood sucking agent! He wants more for his clients than what they're worth. If Damon wants to play for the Yanks, drop his agent, and nagotiate with them himself. They'd love to have him back at their price.



Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 17, 2012 3:03 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

The yankees are idiots if they let Jojnny Damon get away....He was big part of the Red Sox
and yankees World Series.Furthermore,he is a real team guy....I cannot say that about
Raul....he is kind of a loner?????????????



Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:08 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

Could it be he is one of the worst defensive outfielders in the majors and most team know that fact. Sure he can hit but that is all you are paying for. Damon in the outfield throws like an 8 year old girl tand hat is why opposing runners can feel free to take thirdbase when there is a single hit in the direction of Johnny Damon.



Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:43 pm
 

Damon doesn't get why his phone is silent

Damon never raped the Royals wallet...that's why he left.


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