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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

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SF, I think that's one of the more reasonable responses to have about the Damon signing. In the end, I think it will probably mean good things for the Sox in the long-term.

That remains to be seen, but as has been noted by those much smarter than I, it is better to let a guy go a year early than hold onto him a year too long. The only real question here is did the Sox let him go four years early?

Good post, SF. The (only) thing left unstated is your confidence in the Sox organization to get a good player, to not sign a Tony Womack to play center. I have that confidence too. I just wish I hadn't invested in a Johnny D t-shirt.

By the way, YFs are not allowed to call him "Johnny D." We in Boston retain that trademark. You can call him "Johnny $$"

Well put SF.

Gonna miss Johnny...miss him a lot. He's a decent centerfielder who can steal bases and has been a catalyst for the Sox. I am surprised the Sox let him get away on a four year deal though. While his skills may be declining, over four years, I do not think he will be Bernie Williams. That said, I don't view this as a screwup. If anything, I think the Sox have approached this from a strict business and baseball approach...much like the Patriots. Whether you agree with them or not, I believe they assigned a number to Johnny, his production and all the intangibles he brought to the clubhouse and field and they stuck with that number. Time will tell if they are right. But I will miss him and I wish him well...just not when the Yanks and Sox go at it.

One good thing for Sox fans: Steve Phillips thinks this is a good deal for NY.

Damon is a good player, but people are jumping off bridges over this. Damon isn't a great player. The off season isn't over.

And most importantly, unless Damon can throw 200 innings of 3.30 ERA ball...

people are jumping off bridges over this

Mattymatty, I don't think people are jumping off bridges over this, at least not in Boston. Maybe in New York they are, though I think that's more surprise then anything else. The tenor of most posters at SoSH is one of understanding. One can always cherry-pick the "Damon that goddamned traitor mother**er" comments, but after spending some time reading the posts over there (if it's any representation of RSN, which I think it is) it seems that people understand this deal and it's ramifications, which aren't entirely good for the Sox. But people are looking at it in context, for the long-term. That seems like a mature reaction, not exactly what the media (or Yankees fans) might want from us Sox rooters.

Well said, SF. I'm sure all of us Yankee fans will grow to very much enjoy having Damon around, and it won't be long before the sight of him in pinstripes is such a familiarity that the thought that he once wore Beantown pajamas will be far out of our minds. Just as we have with other players (Clemens). Especially in 2009. (Which is a scary thought, what's that arm gonna look like in 2009?).

We still wonder if this is a good deal for the Yanks. It's been rough watching the team's poor defense, and knowing how much that has hurt the pitching stafff. They've now got one very expensive ballplayer who will be declining in this department over time. It would really have been nice to have a young player. Frankly, it might be worth occassionally puttng him at DH so that Bubba can go track down balls in center.


Did I write Clemens? How about, um, Boggs.

The folks over at Bronx Banter seem pretty gung ho over this deal. And for the short term it's hard to disagree that it's going to be a nice improvement for the Yanks (and a corresponding gutpunch to the Sox, notwithstanding their replacement parts and added draft pick).

I think that this is a pretty good deal for the Yanks. Not only is Damon one of the better center fielders in baseball, it is, as YF mentions, a corresponding loss for the Sox.

I also agree for the most part with the tenor of SF's post - this may make long-term sense for the Sox. But...what price the face of the franchise? A year after letting Pedro walk, the Sox have done the same with another cornerstone. Surely sentimentality is worth something? Maybe giving the extra year and dealing with it when it happens (which is what the Yanks basically did with Bernie) is a price worth paying to see one of your legends end his career with you. And surely JD's clubhouse role had some value? My point is, maybe the Sox are leaning too far the other way in terms of the business-only approach.

As for his age and declining skills: I agree that it's often better to let a player go a year early rather than a year late, but aside from the issue of whether he meant more to the Sox than your average player to another team, he's only just turned 32. He'll be 35 when this contract is over. That's hardly over the hill for an outfielder. Yes, his speed will diminish somewhat, but Kenny Lofton (and Woemack, for that matter) still have what it takes into their mid-to-late 30s. Maybe the whole "he's on his way down" argument is one RSN is using to make themselves feel better.

Finally, (sorry for the long post), how do other Sox players feel about this? They've seen a bunch of teammates - Millar, Mueller, Pedro now JD - leave what was supposed to be a tight-knit, all-for-one squad. I wonder how this will affect morale.

Surely sentimentality is worth something?

To whom? Ownership? Scott Boras? Johnny Damon? The fans? I know the answer, and it's the party with no say.

maybe the Sox are leaning too far the other way in terms of the business-only approach

Most likely not. They have a big payroll, albeit not by Yankee standards. But they do spend money. Read Theo's quote in my post for the crux of the matter. I think it holds in this case, no matter whether Theo is the GM or not.

how do other Sox players feel about this?

My guess: Some think it stinks, they will miss Johnny's skills and presence. Some think it's neither here nor there, they are playing a team sport after all and will play with whoever replaces JD. (Did Manny and Ortiz stop producing after their buddy Pedro left?) And somebody, specifically the guy who replaces Johnny, is probably thrilled.

wow....i feel like i drank a bottle of tequila last night and woke up with someone banging on a spaghetti-pot next to my ears! Damon in NY! how fitting an end to the 2004 series hoopla...isn't this the guy that wrote the freaking book on being a member of that storied team? perhaps it's just me (think not), but why is it that players can't approach ownership and say 'hey, the freaking yankees just offered me $13M a year? i hate those guys, as you know, and would love to reject that offer and stay here with the sox (the team i loved for 4 years)...just make it close, please, and i'd be happy to play another 4 and kick the Yankees butts another (4x19) 76 times!" huh? are their egos so freaking large that they require caviar breakfasts and champagne lunches everyday along with some 'courting' in order to RE-SIGN with the freaking team that gave him the opportunity to win a world series afterall!!! i don't blame the sox at all on this...yes, the theo thing still bugs me and i don't think this would have happened had he been GM, but damon is still the one that pulled the trigger. if he doesn't care that he won't be playing with schilling, ramirez, and ortiz, why should i care who replaces him? good luck, johnny. you now fall into the hated pinstriper category and you forever will have to live with your career being summarized NOT as a pure sox player immortalized for your efforts in bringing the sox a championship after 86 yrs, but just another mercenary player in the era of mercenaries who went for the $....you're no longer to be remembered fondly, a name passed down for the ages in beantown. you're name no longer shines.

ah...JD could be president they way he shucks and jives...reminiscent of bill claiming on camera that "i did not have sexual relations with that woman"....JD on playing for the hated yankees:

"There's no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they're going to come after me hard," he said on May 3. "It's definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It's not what I need."

Yet sometime in the next week, Damon will don the pinstripes and a Yankees cap at the Stadium, smiling proudly while flashbulbs pop all around him.....JD for Pres 2008?

Hate to say it but if there's anyone who might actually run in 08' it would be a certain aging Sox pitcher.

Sorry I had to do that...he's a Yankee now.

I think this is another thing the local media will make a really big deal over - Damon has never been injured for any length of time. He will regress to the mean as he ages. He is an above average fielder with a below average arm who will have to patrol a much larger center field than he has been patrolling for the last 4 years.

On the other hand, he is an excellent leadoff hitter who will help the rest of the Yankees lineup.

If the Sox are smart, they will be able to fill the leadoff slot. Getting a decent fielding center fielder is easier than getting a good leadoff hitter.

Whatever, this is not the end of the world - although the local media will have it that way. Also, they will blame Red Sox management - when clearly they were unwilling to get into a bidding war at 13 million per annum - which would have gone higher - especially because it is clear that Damon liked the idea of NYC and the national media attention potential.

Hometown Discount

Paul O'Neill

Jumping Off Bridges

I've read three or four Sox fans saying, "He's dead to me."

That's bush league. SF's sentiments were much better.

no comment

wait and see what happens.

well I'm a hardcore yankee fan. I believe that when it comes to our short term future, this is good. I personally feel that this is a slap in the face for Boston. And I am pleased with that, but when it comes to long term effects, I actually feel it may hurt the yankees. Damon is already past his prime. He may do a decent job this coming season, but i believe that his days of good playing are numbered to no more than season or two. However, I am really hoping that the Yanks could come out and get another world series win with the lineup they have this season.

Now I am not one of those Yankee fans that denies the truth about how god the Red Sox are. I'll give it to them, they had an incredible team thise season. How else could they have beaten the Yankees four games in a row? They had skills.....management is what messed it all up for you Bosox fans.

I am looking forward to another season win for the Yankees. We havent managed to win a world series since 9/11...ironically

I'm against this whole unfriendly rivalry that has been going on for so long. I personally think it ruins the game. The fans of each team should just stop all of this and admit that both the Yankees and the Redsox are great teams. And the rivalry has actually helped the popul;arity of both teams and players. The Yankees and the Red Sox are ( in my view ) the two most famous teams in baseball. And they both aquired the most famous player to top it off. ( Babe Ruth anyone? )

The politics of the game is getting rediculous. Just support your team no matter who is on it. Johny Damon is a Yankee now....it isnt the end of the world. I'm a yankee fan...and I still admit that Boston is a good team. I feel that most of the animosity comes from the boston fans. If you hadm ore than twenty world series wins under your belt...would you change your strategy? Honestly......

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