Blog Entry

Olde English D suits Damon well

Posted on: August 24, 2010 11:14 pm

SAN FRANCISCO -- Just when you think they're all mercenaries who only care about the next whopping contract, along comes Johnny Damon thumbing his nose at Boston.

We already knew Damon to be an exciting, if aging, ballplayer. We already knew him to be one of the game's extraordinarily nice guys.

Now we know he's not a phony.

Nothing against the Red Sox, who are doing a marvelous job of hanging in there despite losing players to the disabled list so frequently this summer that Terry Francona has been reduced to playing guys who are unrecognizable even to their own mothers.

But Damon has been there, done that, and it did not end pleasantly.

Looking for work this spring, he and his agent, Scott Boras, suddenly did more for Detroit's image than the Renaissance Center ever did. Damon professed his love for the Red Wings and all things Detroit. Boras rhapsodized about how much Damon always has loved Detroit.

It would have been sickening -- if it weren't true.

How do I know? Well, I couldn't resist. I sat down with Damon in Lakeland, Fla., this spring and administered a quiz covering all things Detroit and Michigan. Not only did he good-naturedly play along, he did quite well.

Anyway, seven months later, Damon told the Tigers he wouldn't accept a deal to Boston because Detroit is where he wants to be. He individually talked to all of his teammates first to make sure they still wanted him around. He said he hopes to play again in Detroit in 2011, and he said he knows that if manager Jim Leyland reduces his playing time down the stretch, it could cost him money on the free agent market this winter.

Didn't matter. Damon didn't want to change his stripes. (And his chances of stepping into a pennant race in Boston wasn't exactly guaranteed, either).

Next time you become disenchanted with the modern athlete for whatever reason, remember Damon. Maybe you hated him when he was with Boston, maybe you hated him when he was with the Yankees. Perhaps you never liked him with long hair, or maybe you were angry when he chopped his locks.

Whatever. Bottom line is, Damon showed this week he is a man of principle.

Likes: Ah, San Francisco. Gorgeous summer day today. Hot. It actually reached 100. And that brought the crazies out (even more than usual). Walking between the Rasputin music store and Border's books, I passed a raggedy-looking man on the street grinning and holding up a homemade sign fashioned from a cardboard box reading, "Ass watching is a sport." When I walked back 30 minutes later, he was still at his post proudly displaying his sign. Meantime, John Fay, Reds beat man for the Cincinnati Enquirer, saw two older men walking down the street completely naked protesting, as Fay said, something. ... If the White Sox do get Manny Ramirez on waivers, he and Ozzie Guillen will be quite a combo. And Guillen always thought Frank Thomas was a handful. ... Great run along the Embarcadero on Tuesday morning down to AT&T Park. Love the atmosphere around empty ballparks early in the day before they come to life at night.

Dislikes: Still haven't caught up to the final three Friday Night Lights episodes from this summer. Looking forward to carving out some time to see them. ... School starting again. I know lots of parents eagerly anticipate the kids going back. Not me. I like having mine around.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"When that last guitar's been packed away
"You know that I still want to play
"So just make sure you got it all set to go
"Before you come for my piano
"But the band's on the bus
"And they're waiting to go
"We've got to drive all night and do a show in Chicago
"or Detroit, I don't know
"We do so many shows in a row
"And these towns all look the same
"We just pass the time in our hotel rooms
"And wander 'round backstage
"Till those lights come up and we hear that crowd
"And we remember why we came"

-- Jackson Brown, The Load Out


Since: Apr 16, 2008
Posted on: August 26, 2010 12:19 am

Olde English D suits Damon well

Wow, did you get his autograph too?  If he loved the organization so much, he would help them out by going to wherever they wanted to send him for six weeks in order to save them some dough or pick up a prospect.  Remember this is the guy that was asking for big money originally from the Yankees, but they knew better and he remained unsigned until the very end.  Even then he signed for a fraction of what he asked for originally.  Heck, maybe some of that saved dough could be used to resign him to his beloved Detroit for next season.  Oh wait, he is not all about his next whopping contract.  Give me a break.  I think it had more to do with the "looks like Jesus, acts like Judas, and throw like Mary" comments.  And yes, the Olde English D suits him well if it is followed by a bag.  For the record, I am a White Sox fan.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:28 pm

Olde English D suits Damon well

You idiot the guy said he is a Royals fan.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:12 pm

Olde English D suits Damon well

Cape Cup is an idiot.  Pure and simple.  I have been listening to all things Boston lately, and most of the people there who are close to the Red Sox said that they really wanted Damon.  Theo was big on trying to get him back...they even had Big Papi, Youk, and Varitek making phone calls to Damon to try and woo him over.

Listen, the entire world isn't all about the city of Boston.  So don't make your argument about how "nobody would ever turn down the Red Sox"....guess what: Damon has done it twice now.

And to be honest, of all the cheaters you had on that Sox team with the steroids...Damon was one of the few who did it on raw talent.

Johnny Damon has integrity.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2010 12:45 pm

Olde English D suits Damon well

Typical douche SOX fan response.

Since: Feb 18, 2008
Posted on: August 25, 2010 8:59 am

Olde English D suits Damon well

He's a nice guy? Not a phony?  As a Royals fan, I know how much Damon doesn't think of anyone but himself.  I've never blamed him for leaving the Royals, in fact, he was traded.  But Royals fans know what Johnny Damon is actually like, as I'm sure Red Sox fans do as well.  He only is in it for the money, not camaraderie or "the team."  

Damon's a big a phony as they come, and the only reason he didn't go back to Boston was because he either got his feeling hurt when they booed him (which how can you blame Red Sox fans? He went to the Yankees) or he too scared to face that fan base on a daily basis.

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: August 25, 2010 5:59 am

Olde English D suits Damon well

Apparently you took the few jabs at the AL East teams as the point of the article, but to me this seemed less about how the Red Sox really wanted him and more about Damon making a decision which appears to reveal his integrity. Whether he would have helped the Red Sox this season or not isn't the point, he could have bailed on a team farther out of the playoff race, but instead stuck with his team and backed up his stance on wanting to be a Tiger, regardless of what you think about Detroit.

When people talk about playing for the Tigers they too often make it seem like you are forced to live in an abandoned building during your tenure. There is a lot more to playing for a major league team than the closest inner cities socio economic status.

Since: Aug 25, 2010
Posted on: August 25, 2010 5:41 am

Olde English D suits Damon well

Nice try but Damon did just what the Sox wanted- turned down the deal and now he can't go to Tampa or New York. Check out the production they're getting out of their "no-name" leftfielders. Very Similar to the luke warm stats of Damon. Check out the stats of Ortiz- Damon can't DH in Boston either and that is essentially what he has become. Like Boston and New York Detroit will show him the door at the end of the year. Adios Johnny- enjoy September in Detroit!

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