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Tag:Johnny Damon
Posted on: August 21, 2011 10:56 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Damon plays hero for Tampa Bay



By Matt Snyder

Johnny Damon, Rays. In the bottom of the seventh, Damon hit what was initially ruled a grand slam. Only the ball hit the very top of the wall and bounced high into the air, only to return to the field of play. So the play was reviewed and the umpires correctly ruled it wasn't a homer. Still, three runs scored and put the Rays on top 7-5. Fast-forward to the bottom of the ninth, with the score now tied at seven, and Damon stepped to the plate again. This time he left no doubt, as he went yard to end the game in walk-off fashion.

Austin Jackson, Tigers. If you haven't seen how the Tigers-Indians game ended, click here to watch it on MLB.com video. Jackson fired an absolute bullet from center to nail Kosuke Fukudome -- who represented the tying run -- at home plate to end the game. To those who never played outfield in high school or college, that play is much tougher than it looks. It was incredibly impressive. Jackson also went 2-4 with two runs and an RBI in the victory, which completed a Tigers' sweep of the second-place Indians.

Luis Perez, Blue Jays. He had never made a major-league start before Sunday. He had never thrown more than 64 pitches in a major-league game until Sunday. And yet Perez had a perfect game heading into the sixth inning. It's a shame he's not completely stretched out as a starter, because it was evident he just ran out of gas in the sixth. Still, he got out of a jam with an inning-ending double play off the bat of Coco Crisp, giving Perez six scoreless innings. He ended up gathering the win, too, as the Jays squeaked out a 1-0 victory.



Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians. The Indians acquired Jimenez less than 24 hours before the non-waiver trade deadline because they wanted an ace. On August 10 he looked the part. In the other three starts, he hasn't even come close. After Sunday's stinkbomb against the first-place Tigers, Jimenez has an 11.77 ERA and a 2.46 WHIP in his three road starts. Sunday was his worst effort, too, as the Indians needed him to play stopper, and instead Jimenez allowed nine hits and eight earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings. After having been swept, the Indians now trail the Tigers by 4 1/2 games.

Joel Hanrahan, Pirates. Much like his team, it appears the honeymoon is over for Hanrahan (at least in 2011). The All-Star closer hadn't blown a save in the entire first half of the season, but Sunday he coughed up his third one in the past five weeks. It's still not awful or anything, but it's a bit of a rough patch. Hanrahan has now given up five earned runs in his past three innings.

Brad Lidge, Phillies. How about a walk-off hit-by-pitch? That's what Lidge offered up to Jonny Gomes of the Nationals Sunday, as the Phillies dropped a series to the Nationals. After allowing a double and single, with an intentional walk in between, to load the bases, Lidge faced Gomes. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Lidge hit Gomes, plating the game-winning and series-clinching run for Washington.

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Posted on: August 21, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2011 4:52 pm
 

MLB needs to tweak replay approach



By Matt Snyder


Just minutes ago, Johnny Damon of the Rays hit what was initially ruled a grand slam. Replays showed the ball hit the very top of the wall -- directly on the yellow line -- and bounced far up into the air, only to come down in the field of play. The umpires reviewed the play and properly ruled it was not a home run. Considering the bases were loaded, the umpires were then tasked with basically guessing where everyone should be. They ruled Damon with a double and the three runners all scored. It gave the Rays a 7-5 lead. (Click here to watch the video on MLB.com).

Now, I don't have a problem with this particular call, because Desmond Jennings -- who was on first -- was clearly going to score on the play. I just don't like the approach. We're asking umpires to try to guess what would have happened if they initially ruled the ball in play, but no one can really say what would have happened. Using this particular play as an example, what if Damon tried to stretch his double into a triple and was thrown at third base?

So I got to thinking, why doesn't the MLB just have the umpires approach near home runs like the NFL officials approach possible fumbles that are very close? More specifically, shouldn't the umpires always rule close calls in play? Think about it, you can easily correct upward and rule a home run, which scores every baserunner, but you cannot be 100 percent sure in the accuracy of correcting downward. It's a veritable guessing game, so let's take the guesswork out of the equation by making a simple change to the approach.

Since professional sports leagues usually wait until something bad happens instead of having foresight, nothing will be done until there's a huge argument in a playoff game -- or something involving a money player like the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies -- but it's certainly something that could easily be fixed without changing any rules. Joe Torre's office can simply spread the word to umpires to always err on the side of ruling a ball in play. Replay is there as a backup plan, so it should be used to minimize human error.

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Posted on: August 12, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Report: Damon clears waivers

Johnny DamonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Last year Johnny Damon nixed a deal that would have sent him back to Boston. This year he may not have that luxury.

When Damon was a Tiger, he had a no-trade clause in his contract. With the Rays, he doesn't have that protection. And if anyone wants Damon, they need only call the Rays, because according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, Damon has cleared waivers.

Damon doesn't project as a Type A or B free agent, so the Rays wouldn't get anything for holding on to him. However, he's still a limited player, hitting .262/.317/.387 with little defensive ability. He's stolen 11 bases, but been caught four times. 

Damon's numbers are down from last year's .271/.355/.401, but the 37-year-old is still seen in a favorable light considering his past accomplishments in the postseason as a member of the Red Sox and Yankees, so someone may take a chance on recapturing some of that magic.

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Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 4:09 pm
 

Will A-Rod be the next to 3,000?

Alex RodriguezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Derek Jeter was the first player to record his 3,000th hit in a Yankee uniform, but he may have company soon.

Of the active players close to 3,000, his teammate Alex Rodriguez may be the next to reach the mark. Rodriguez has 2,762 career hits, trailing only Jeter (3,002), Ivan Rodriguez (2,842) of the Nationals and Omar Vizquel (2,831) of the White Sox among active players on the all-time hit list.

After Alex Rodriguez, former Yankee and current Ray Johnny Damon (2,663), the Braves' Chipper Jones (2,565) and the Orioles' Vladimir Guerrero (2,513) are the closest to 3,000.

Alex Rodriguez seems to be the best bet to get to 3,000 first, even though he's currently injured. The other two players are older (A-Rod is 35, while Ivan Rodriguez is 39 and Vizquel is 44) and no longer every day players.

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 1:56 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 4:42 pm
 

Damon ties Williams on hit list

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Johnny DamonJohnny Damon's sixth-inning blooper off of Reds starter Edinson Volquez on Wednesday tied him with Ted Williams on the all-time hit list at 2,654.

"It seems whoever I pass right now, it's somebody very good," Damon told the Tampa Tribune on Tuesday. "I'm just proud of the fact that I've been able to have this long of a career, but Ted Williams is sentimental to me, because I was with the Red Sox when he passed (2002), and we honored him on the field, and at the time my son was, I believe 3, and he was able to be on the field with me wearing a Ted Williams jersey."

Damon played four seasons with the Red Sox and did something Williams was never able to do, win a World Series title.

It should be noted, of course, Williams missed three full seasons due to World War II and most of two more to serve in the Korean War.

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 2:23 pm
 

Maddon going 'unconventional' against Marcum

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Rays manager Joe Maddon is known to buck the old managerial book, but today's is a little different.

Against Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum, Maddon is loading up on right-handed hitters. He announced the move on Twitter:


Joe Maddon 

That means the team is keeping Matt Joyce, Johnny Damon, John Jaso and Reid Brignac on the bench. That means Ben Zobrist in right for Joyce, Sean Rodriguez at second, Elliot Johnson at shortstop and Kelly Shoppach behind the plate. Johnson and Zobrist are the switch hitters.

Maddon's one of baseball's best managers, and if I had the No. 1 pick in a managerial draft, he'd be my choice. That said, I'm not sure about this one. The rationale is likely that right-handers will have a better chance against Marcum's excellent changeup.

The numbers, however, don't exactly reflect that.

So far this season, right-handed batters are hitting .160/.225/.251 against Marcum and lefties are hitting .274/.312/.415 against him. Of the eight homers Marcum has allowed this season, five have been to left-handed batters in 20 fewer plate appearances. His career numbers are a lot closer, as right-handers hit .239/.297/.417 against him and lefties hit .241/.304/.401.

As for the two Rays switch hitters, Zobrist's numbers are pretty similar as a right-handed batter and a left-handed batter; Johnson is much better from the right side (.273/.400/.303) than the left (.167/.180/.354). 

Of course, Marcum is in his first year with the Brewers and these Rays are familiar with the former Blue Jay. As noted in Jonah Keri's The Extra 2%Maddon used a similar strategy against Marcum last season and the right-hander was 0-2 with a 5.55 ERA in four starts against the Rays. The Rays won three of those games. In the first, Marcum allowed 10 hits and five runs (four earned), but threw eight innings of one-run ball before giving up three hits and four runs in the ninth. The Rays pounded him in their next matchup, with 10 hits and seven earned runs in four innings. The second two matchups were less successful for Maddon's team, with Marcum going six innings each time, allowing five hits and one run in one start and six hits and three runs in the other.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 1:24 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Danks toughs out victory

John Danks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jon Danks, White Sox: Not only did Danks pick up the win against the Diamondbacks, going seven innings allowing seven hits and two runs (one earned), but he also stayed in the game after being hit in the head by a liner off the bat of Stephen Drew. In the fourth inning, Drew hit a liner off the back of Drew's head that bounced into the stands near the Arizona dugout. Danks just laughed off the incident and stayed in the game. Watch the play here.

Johnny Damon, Rays: Damon iced up his 500th double in the first inning of the Rays' victory over the Marlins. He's the 53rd player to reach the 500 doubles mark, but just the 11th plater to ever accumulate 500 doubles, 100 triples, 200 homers and 2,500 hits. All 10 of the others -- George Brett, Lou Gehrig, Goose Goslin, Rogers Hornsby, Willie Mays, Paul Molitor, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Al Simmons and Robin Yount -- are in the Hall of Fame. 

Matt Holliday, Cardinals: Holliday's two-run homer in the eighth inning off of Kansas City's Greg Holland to end the Cardinals' seven-game losing streak. Holliday has two home runs in his three games back from the disabled list, going 5 for 9 with at least one RBI in each of the games.


Padres offense: Well exempt Chris Denorfia and Will Venable from this list for Saturday's worst results, because both of those Padres had multiple hits -- with Denorfia leading off the game with a triple, only to be stranded. None of the rest of the Padres managed a hit. Anthony Rizzo worked a walk off of Minnesota's Scott Baker, but those five were the only baserunners of the night. The Twins weren't much better, managing six hits and one walk, but Danny Valencia's homer was enough offense for the 1-0 Minnesota victory. San Diego's .637 OPS is the worst in baseball, as are its 238 runs.

Edinson Volquez, Reds: Maybe another trip to the minors in order. It wasn't just his stats on Saturday -- five innings pitched, seven hits, four runs, two walks and eight strikeouts -- it was everything else. He had two errors, including one that led to a run, and a balk. In his last outing, he pitched well, but two baserunning blunders hurt the Reds' chances of winning. With Homer Bailey getting ready to return from the disabled list, Volquez could find himself back in Louisville soon.

Florida Marlins: Here's just about everything you need to know about the Florida Marlins right now -- the South Florida Sun Sentinel runs a feature after every Marlins game called "Marlins highlights." The first item Saturday's 7-4 loss was "Marlins wives beat Rays wives in softball." Yep, that's the highlight as the Marlins lost their ninth in a row and have as many wins in the month of June as their wives.

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 16, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Pepper: Giants happy Marlins are losing?



By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: Can the Pirates finally have a winning season? I discuss this and the AL Central race, AL West race and the spiraling Cardinals with Scott Braun in Thursday's version of Baseball Today. Click on the video above to watch.

TURN THE PAGE, GUYS: On May 26, Scott Cousins bowled over Buster Posey of the Giants and knocked him out for the season. The Marlins completed a sweep of the Giants that night. Since then, the Marlins are 3-17, and Cousins is on the DL with a back injury. Via Extra Baggs, apparently this "hasn't gone unnoticed" for the Giants and they feel like -- off the record, of course -- "karma's a bitch." C'mon guys. You won a World Series last year and now your catcher suffered a freak injury that could have happened to anyone. This kind of petty nonsense has a place in junior high, but not the bigs -- and certainly not from a division leader with a World Series ring. Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen a season-ending injury cause so much upheaval -- locally or nationally. It's a shame it happened, but good Lord, he's still alive.

TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL: "The interleague thing is just awful," said Adam Dunn (Chicago Tribune). The White Sox DH, who is finally starting to awake from an extended early-season slumber, is speaking specifically about how the DH affects interleague play. People like David Ortiz will have to sit as they visit NL parks while utility players from NL teams end up DHing in AL parks. Of course, even if interleague play is eliminated, the World Series would still have this issue. And that's kind of an important series, no?

ALONG THOSE LINES: With Eric Hosmer now firmly entrenched at first base, the Royals have no place to put Billy Butler this weekend in St. Louis. Thus, one of their best hitters will be relegated to pinch-hitting duty. (KansasCity.com)

WHITHER COLON INVESTIGATION: Earlier in the season, news broke that Bartolo Colon had received a stem-cell procedure in the Dominican Republic that helped repair his shoulder and elbow. Immediately, Major League Baseball wanted to be sure no banned substances were used in the procedure and began an investigation. Since then, absolutely nothing has happened, and there's no sign of things progressing any time soon. (NYTimes.com blog)

QUIET, PLEASE. MAD SCIENTIST AT WORK: Albert Pujols hadn't started a game at third base since 2002 until this season. Wednesday night marked his third start this season at the hot corner -- as injuries and other circumstances have led manager Tony La Russa to move Pujols across the diamond. The two errors he committed were far from the only reason the Cardinals lost to the Nationals 10-0, but still were worth mentioning. Don't think they deterred La Russa from doing it again, though. "If we had the seventh game of the World Series and it was the same set of circumstances, I'd play him at third base hoping they'd hit 27 balls to him. That's how good a third baseman he is," La Russa said (StLtoday.com). Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Tony.

DAMON'S STOCK RISING: Johnny Damon is nearing his 500th double. When that happens, he'll join 10 other players as the only ones in MLB history to stockpile 2,500 hits, 500 doubles, 100 triples and 200 home runs (page/TB">Rays%29" target="_blank">TBO.com). That might sound like cherry-picking numbers -- because, well, it kind of is -- but the players he joins prove it means something: George Brett, Goose Goslin, Rogers Hornsby, Willie Mays, Paul Molitor, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Al Simmons and Robin Yount. All 10 are in the Hall of Fame.

SETTLING IN: Alex Gordon was probably one of the last guys you'd envision to be a leadoff hitter entering the season, but since making the switch about a month ago, he's morphed into a nice leadoff man. He's raised his on-base percentage by taking a lot more pitches, a deliberate approach. “I definitely haven’t been perfect at it, but my main goal is just to try to get on and give these guys a chance to drive me in.” (KansasCity.com)

HOCKEY AT PROGRESSIVE: The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry will be on full display at Progressive Field in 2012, according to the AP. The two collegiate hockey teams will reportedly square off where the Cleveland Indians play, marking the first major outdoor hockey game in Ohio.

INGE ON TRACK: Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge has been sidelined for the past two weeks with mono, but he's set to start a rehab assignment Thursday night with Triple-A Toledo (Detroit Free Press). While he's been out, the Tigers have continued their surge all the way to the top of the AL Central.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com