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Tuesday, December 20, 2005


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I have two words for you Yankee fans: %#$@^&**%$ &*@#$@#%!!!

oh, no. he screwed over an entire fan base for ten million more dollars. he's definitely one of YOU.

I feel icky.

beth, in fairness to him (an aside: I still feel icky), there's a chance that the sox ownership really didn't pursue him in earnest. Who knows the details? In any case, it was pretty clear that only two teams (the yanks and sox) were talking to him. Shouldn't sox brass show some loyalty to him?

I feel just plain odd defending Johnny.


So I take it he's going to get booed in Fenway.

It is pretty well acknowledged that the Sox offered him the same deal they offered Varitek last year, 4 years for $40M. It seems wierd that the Sox wouldn't have matched that offer. Plus, I didn't think the Yankees were interested in him... I guess the Sox didn't either. They better have a good Plan B up their sleeves.

I speak for Sox Fans everywhere when I say, Thanks and good luck in the Bronx, Johnny. We're gonna kick yr ass.

Nick: Ohhhhh yeah.

Hey, any of you Yankee fans need a Damon shirt? I have one in a nice red color...

Booed? I hope he accidentally kills himself while shaving.

this pretty much guarantees either clement or arroyo going to seattle for Jeremy Reed. I think it's a decent contingency plan and a deal that could be very good for the future of the sox. I also think it's the deal the sox front office has been setting up this whole time. My guess is that they're happy they didn't have to sign Damon, and that they'll be able to get a young player with huge upside in CF

I'd rather have Coco Crisp than Reed. I think he's a better hitter, plus, his name is "Coco Crisp."

I know turnover is part of the game, but how come the Red Sox never sign bigtime Yankee players away? Its always a one way street.. Man, despite my blustery comments above, I'm sad...

mattymatty, I set the over/under posts on this thread at 125. What do you think?

The Sox had to understand this was a possibility. Jeremy Reed and Jason Michaels are probably within their grasp. Whether the Yanks would have done better to liberate one of those two is an issue we expect to address.

We did see Buster Olney on ESPN, once again proclaiming that the Yankee offense of 2006 would be one of the all-time greats--a claim, it's worth noting, he made last year. He, and so many others, are also assuming Damon will bat leadoff. We'd much rather see Jeter in that slot with his higher OBP, and allowing Joe a nice R-L-R stagger with Sheff or A-Rod hitting third.

Nick: I'll take the over

Why can't there be more athletes like our utterly unselfish friend Tom Brady? At $40 mil over 4 years, Johnny would be set for life. He would continue to enjoy his beard and long hair, be the cult figure/rock star that he is in Boston, and live a generally happy and productive life as an adored demigod. It's not as if $4 mil extra per year really makes a difference at that level.

Johnny, buddy, take a lesson from Samson: the moment you cut your hair, you ain't gonna be able to do squat in Yankee land!

Thanks for the dose of realism, YF. I'm sure the Sox understood this was a possibility. Unfortunately, I didn't. In the words of a terrible TV personality: Quite frankly, I'm shocked.

I don't think the Red Sox want Jason Michaels. I haven't heard anything about him connected to Boston. I'm sure they'll go hard after Reed and/or Crisp should the Indians be dumb enough to let him go.

Hey! Maybe the Yankees'll trade us Bernie Williams!

The Yankees had no fit for a Coco Crisp trade. I'm sure Cash looked at who was available in a trade.

What are the minor league stats that make people think Reed will be good?

If the Sox trade Clement for Reed, their rotation will be Gimpy, an unsure thing from the NL, Fatso, Wakefield (without Mirabelli) and a rookie or a guy they want to put in the pen. Not very scary (unless you're a Sox fan).

If they keep Clement, will he be the pitcher from the first half, or the pitcher from the second half (the one he's been most of his career)?

Say goodnight, Bubba.

It would have been fine with me if Damon had stayed in Boston. He's been a Sox figurehead. If an extra 3 mil for Lowell isn't a problem, I don't see why an extra 3 mil for Johnny was.

I do like seeing that Boras couldn't get 5 years from anyone, let alone 7.

Always good to have a dose of reason injected into the conversation. Thanks john yf!

Reed hit about .280/.400/.500 in the minors. Pretty darn good. He's 24 with one year in the majors under his belt. Also, he plays for the Mariners.

Since when does Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, Clement-or-Arroyo and Papelbon count as gimpy? Its much better than the Mussina-Pavano-Wright triumverate of injury, or the the Johnson and Mussina with slings on their arms and depends in their pants.

I expect to see Damon on the back of a NYC Police horse parading around Yankee Stadium next October!!!

How sweet it will be.

Now if only everyone stays healthy and the pitching holds up we could win 130 games!

Glad SF Baby was alive for the Red Sox WS because it doesn't appear that he is likely to live to see the next one. At least he'll be able to tell his great grand kids, "I was alive the last time the RS won it all."

The only good thing about this trade is I get to insult Damon at the Stadium in the Bronx *every* game, not just when the Idiots from Beantown are in town.

I don't like this signing.

I feel kind of weird. I don't feel hurt, I'm not really shocked, and I have no idea how I will react at seeing Johnny in a Yankee uniform. Those words shouldn't even be in the same sentence. Yuck. I think that if it means that much to him to play in NY that he would leave Boston, the only place where he will ever get superstar treatment, then good for him.
Now that he's gone, I actually feel kind of liberated. I loved Johnny when he was in Boston, but now that there is no reason for me to like him and plenty for me not to, I really con't stand him anymore. And there it is. Good Luck, Johnny, but in all honestly, I'm kind of glad that you're gone.

Gimpy = Schilling. He did a great job and was key in winning the WS but may never be a good pitcher again.

Fatso = Boomer.


From the New York Post: "It was a very tough decision, but New York came after me aggressively and that's what sealed the deal," Damon told Boston's CBS television affiliate. "They showed they really wanted me. I tried with Boston, waiting for them to step up, but unfortunately they didn't, and now I'm headed to New York.

"I wasn't quite sure what happened, but I'm very excited. The [Yankee] players were calling me and trying to recruit me. They did a heck of a job doing it....

Damon's decision caught the dysfunctional Red Sox brass by surprise. CEO Larry Lucchino said negotiations with Damon were ongoing almost an hour after the deal was sealed with the Yankees.

If the Yankee players want Damon, I'll get over the initial strangeness.

I think the Sox did a bad job here. As I said, the $3 million extra they're giving Lowell would have been better spent on Damon. At the moment, the payroll is very low, and there aren't many players available for 2006.

Right now, the Yankee lineup is very strong and the Boston lineup -- 1 - 9, starting pitching, relief pitching, bench -- is weak. If you don't believe me, make out the lineup card.

If someone like Derek had left in this way, I would feel bad. Brad-SF won't believe this, but my condolences to Sox fans.

john yf: you keep refering to the "extra $3M the Sox gave Lowell." I don't know where that is coming from. Lowell signed a contract two years ago with Florida. The Sox got him in trade this offseason. They've never negotiated a contract with him before, so they've never given him any "extra" money.

As far as your point about Damon goes, I tend to agree. What the difference between $10M a year and $13M a year to the Boston Red Sox? They must have thought that they could replace Damon's production for less money and spend the money elsewhere.

At this point I think the Sox really need to go out and get another big bat. They should jump on Tejada. Give up three good prospects for him. Get Adam Dunn. Get someone really good.

New record for Sox fans throwing a former player under the bus: 4 hrs.

This was not JD's fault, all Boston had to do was match the Yankees offer. He would have gladly stayed in Boston. But now Sox fans are all over JD because he was too greedy to take a job that paid him 30% less. I'd like to see all you Sox fans go in to work today and demand a 30% pay cut.

If I were to psychoanalyze Sox fans it would seem those that say they hate him now and are glad he's gone are the one's who miss him the most and are most unhappy to see him go. If you really didn't care, you wouldn't care. Just my $.02

New record for Sox fans throwing a former player under the bus: 4 hrs.

Where, here? That's bullshit. If you spent time reading SoSH, or my post, you'd see that the majority of Sox fans are taking this quite maturely.

Hey bozo: I think we're taking this pretty well. Lets see how you react when you wake up one morning and find that Jeter has been traded to Boston.

I don't begrudge him taking the most money he could get; that's what most of us do. And before you say, "Yeah, but he could be perfectly content at $10 million a year," ask yourself if you could be perfectly content at $20,000 a year working for a soup kitchen, or if you're happier at your salary. Or if you wanted a bigger raise and bonus than you actually received.

Thanks, Johnny. Go cut your hair, and end this wonderful era.

please. the sox offer was the same amount of years, ten million less over four years, amounting to around $2.5 million a year difference. if the yankees had offered more years, i can see it, definitely. i know johnny was interested in five. but to go to the yankees from the red sox for $2.5 million a year? for a player already paid as handsomely as johnny damon? that's pitiful. absolutely pitiful.

given that new york fans aren't happy to have him, and boston fans are going to be building a "johnny damon memorabilia bonfire" on boston common pretty soon, the moron probably just cost himself the difference in lost endorsements, royalties and marketing opportunities anyway.

don't try to make this "the sox didn't try hard enough." $2.5 million a year is a RIDICULOUSLY small difference for a major league player. but apparently it was enough for johnny damon. pathetic.

"oh, no. he screwed over an entire fan base for ten million more dollars. he's definitely one of YOU."

beth, your favorite Sock Curt haggled over money with the Phillies and then the D-Backs. He forced his way off both teams over money and in the process screwed over two fan bases. Ask Phillies fans what they think of Schilling. I'm sure they like him as much as you like Damon at this moment. So, this is reality: Schilling wanted more money than either team could give him. Probably within the realm of $2.5 million a year. He's a Sock now. But he's a professional athlete before that.


Nick is right. Completely. Though I do understand your frustrations. Yes, $2.5M a year for four years doesn't, on the surface, seem like a ton to a team like the Sox. But it's not the $2.5M number that's at issue. It's the $52M number that's important. And that's the number the Red Sox apparently couldn't come to terms with. Name a Scott Boras client who didn't go to the highest bidder, and then decide if JD would have stayed in Boston for $45M, or $48M, or even $50M. I don't think you can make a claim like that based on his clients' history, so assuming that Damon would have stayed if the Sox "came close" to the Yankees number is questionable speculation, probably a way to rationalize blaming the club for his departure.

See Theo's quote in my post above this one. It's completely coherent, defensible, and thoughtful. It makes sense. The long-term interests of the franchise and the ability of the team to remain competitive and deep while adhering to a payroll limitation that is significantly below that of the Yankees are the most important elements of the organization's strategy. Damon, at $52M for four years, didn't fit that strategy. That's great for Damon, who gets the big payday from the richest ballclub, too bad for team's depth in the short run, and certainly painful for the Boston fans who loved him, but it's not necessarily a terrible thing for the long-term health or on-field success (both in the standings and on the balance sheet) of the franchise.

I agree with Nick and SF on this. As I said in earlier posts....I wasn't a fan of signing Damon for more than 3 years (my best case scenerio would have been an impossible 2 year contract). If Damon can bat above 300 with over a 355 obp and stay healthy I think Yankee fans will be happy.
Part of the contract though, is the fact that he goes to a much larger and more lucrative market. Damon will most likely see alot of endorsements coming his way for larger figures. The Subway sandwhich francise pays more in NY than it does in Boston...frankly the Boston Market Chicken francise pays more in NY than in Boston.

I think $12m is $12m, not matter how much a person earns. If that's what decided things for him, good luck to him.

As I said in the Comments under SF's post on the topic, I think this is a good deal for the Yankees, and bad for the Sox. Will it work out better for the Sox in the long run? Maybe. But not for 2006 and possibly 2007. Plus, there's the romance factor, the idea of clubs keeping their most popular players.

Anyway. Let's see what the Sox do. Let's not forget that their hole at CF is now added to their holes at SS and 1B. And in the lead-off spot. Oh, and speed on the bases...

But do they have a hole at 1B? Right now Youkilis is slotted in there, and people have been clamoring for him to get regular PT. He's an unknown with the glove, but he's established that he can be a very decent hitter. So I wouldn't call it a "hole", though there's zero track record. CF and SS, now those are holes.

Fair enough. No hole at 1B. Just holes at CF and SS. And loss of speed on the bases. And a leadoff man.


2006 and 7?

Everyone realizes that there are some HUGE free agent outfielders coming due this year right?
I hate to lose Damon, but let's be real here. The Yanks are now resigned to Damon for the next four years while Boston will actively be in the hunt for Hunter and Jones this year.
If I have to put a stop-gap in center for half a year or so, and then go get one of those guys, I think I'll live.
If anyone does not think that Crisp is on the cusp of being just as good as Damon right now, then your're fooling yourself. Also, the Sox are clearly going to HAVE to make some attempt at a huge splash after this screw-up. If you can actually call it that.

Let's not get hysterical about Coco Crisp.

anyone else notice that this sox off-season is quite the soap opera?

And to think: there's still the whole Manny and David Wells' trade demands to deal with, and a potential deal for a CF. Nuts.

Thank god for our teams, if only for this website's sake! Can you imagine the deathvoid that is Raysfan vs. Marlinsfan?

Talk about the existential abyss.

I was just thinking about the Manny situation. Does this make it more likely that the Sox will trade him or keep him? Or will it not have any effect either way? The argument for trading him now I would imagine is that with Damon's departure the Sox are (as of this moment) weaker than last year and competing for the post-season, let alone the division, is that much harder. Might the sox front office see 2006 as a step-back year where they'll restock the team with more young talent (e.g. Beckett and Marte). And will a trade of Manny be part of that plan? Or will Damon's leaving and its attendant money gain make Manny's contract more easy to grapple with, thereby providing even less incentive for sox ownership to trade him away?

I think that the sox can't afford (from a PR stance) to get rid of Manny without at least getting something of a name in return. Someone like Tejada. That being said...I don't know what that deal could realistically be.

i still think it's pretty dumb to act like the red sox "didn't try hard enough." i look at it as, they didn't overpay. i see that as a GOOD thing. and i still think johnny damon is a greedy dickhead who has no concept of what he's just done to his precious "image".

yankee fan here and im with YF on this one I REALLY didnt want them to sign him, he'll just never be a yankee

He'll be a yankee just fine...and Beth, its like he broke your heart. It's a mix between the two. the Sox didn't want to pay what the Yankees were willing to pay for him. If teh Yankees had offered Jason Varitek 12 mil more he'd be a Yankee too....and I'd hate it!

Fine, Beth, Damon's greedy for going to the place offerinh him $12 million more, and the Sox are intelligent for looking after their financial bottom-line. No double-standard there.

Well, Nick, the things aren't mutually exclusive. To clarify, "payroll flexibility" doesn't necessarily mean "maximum profitability", though there is obviously some overlap. It might mean some combination of increased profitability and roster flexibility that allows the team to compete every year in order remain increasingly profitable. Johnny Damon's "greedy dickheadedness" is not organizational, but personal, though with one equivalent commonality: the goal to be in contention for a championship. You'd be better off trying to compare John Henry with Damon, not Damon with the umbrella "Sox organization".

So it is possible that Beth is at least partly correct and that your counterpostulated double standard is also correct. But I think you are both being simplistic. Johnny may be a greedy dickhead, and the Red Sox probably have done the right thing for their bottom line, but, in my opinion not simply out of greed. This is a tough argument, because I don't ever want people to think I am naive about what I think the Red Sox' ownership is striving for, which is a combination of on-field success and profitability. Their bottom line obviously plays a big role in deciding how much to offer a player. But Damon was making a choice between two offers, both from contenders. The real qualitative difference between them was therefore money. So his decision, which was his absolute right and which I don't resent him for in the slightest, was based on the monetary difference between the two contracts. His decision, therefore, can be reduced to one based on, yes, greed. Unlike Beth, who is angered by this greed, I understand it and can easily forgive it. It was his right as a free agent and the money difference, 30%, is huge.

So though the parties have some common concerns, the Red Sox' are, to me, more complex to assess and less scientifically solved than Johnny's. One can always reduce these concerns to the lowest common denominator, and either blame the player for being greedy and steered by a money-grubbing agent or chastise the club for being unsentimentally stingy and not shelling out that extra $12M, but I think it's more complex than that (with any free agent, not just Johnny) and I'd prefer to leave the reductive arguments to guys like Dan Shaughnessy or Murray Chass.

Hey, SF, good points. My pro-labor side (even for multi-millionaires laborers)colored my comments.

I think that when you have an organization (like the Red Sox) that have existing relationships with small market teams which allow them to use them like pro-farm systems it sort of nullifies the idea that they are really handling the "payroll-flexibility" issue.
But to actually be serious for a moment. Here's your "pay-roll flexibility":

That's where the money they save is going. It is about "maximum profitability", and more specifically, about profitability when the team ain't performing so well. Creating ways of creating revenue by making the area a place to visit for even the tourist fan.

You know, I wasn't that happy when they brought A-Rod in. Then he was an A-Hole in spring training and was insecure and nervous for months. He's now a solid citizen. He's a Yankee. Damon will be a Yankee after 3 weeks.

Re the 3 million I refer to: Lowell costs roughly 3 million more per year than Mueller. And contrary to Brad-SF's averaging of several years of stats, the consensus of major league scouts is that Lowell's days as a big hitter are gone. That's why the Marlins always insisted that anyone who wanted Beckett had to take Lowell: major league teams look on him as damaged goods, not as someone who had an off year.

No, John. The Marlins insisted on another team taking Lowell because he makes ten million dollars a year on a team that wants to spend less than one million on that position. Not because he's in decline, and not because he had a bad year, but rather because they're incredibly cheap.
And, I'd stop with all the "days being gone" stuff until he actually goes out and falls on his face - otherwise, that's exactly what you may be doing come July.

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