Red Sox Claim Johnny Damon…Oh Boy…


Where do I begin with this story? I am sitting at my computer at work and I get an alert from Twitter, specifically from SI’s Jon Heyman that the Red Sox have claimed . I nearly fell over in my rolly desk chair at the very idea of Damon returning to the Sox. Once I gathered my bearings, I checked around a few places to see if this was some sick joke that I missed and to my dismay, it was not a joke at all. The Boston Red Sox claimed in an effort to try and work out a deal to bring him back to Massachusetts… Let’s take a look at this ridiculous scenario that may not be so crazy after all.

Let me preface by saying the likelihood of Damon coming to town is fairly low, because he has a no-trade clause associated with the Boston Red Sox, but, clearly Theo Epstein is going to try to get the former idiot back in Beantown, so let’s discuss. My 1st issue with this move is an obvious one that relates to his poor offensive numbers in 2010. Damon has hit just .270 with 7 home runs in 111 games in Detroit, on pace to tie his lowest season average since 2001. At age 36, Damon’s defense has dropped and although he could play the outfield, he clearly isn’t a spring chicken anymore. Would you rather see or young talent in the outfield? It’s not even a contest for me.

"I had a great time playing there. But I think once it was apparent that I wasn’t a necessity to re-sign there, it started to get ugly. And that’s why I’ve got to think long and hard. I have to think if they do have a strong chance to make the playoffs with the guys beat up there. I have to think long and hard if I’m going to once again be probably one of the nicest guys in baseball, but be once again the most hated guy in baseball. That’s what it boils down. You guys see how I get booed in every ballpark already. – Damon after finding out the Sox claimed him"

My 2nd and 3rd issues are so clear in Damon’s comments above that the story almost writes itself. Damon left the Red Sox on bad terms after he wanted to resign and the Sox were hesitant due to his age. What did Damon do? He did the most cruel thing possible to screw the Sox and signed with the New York Yankees and then on a few occasions, made reference to how much better and nicer the Yankees organization was than Boston. Bad blood to start the relationship for a 2nd time is a disaster from the get-go.

The 3rd issue is Damon’s sheer cockiness that has overtaken his personality. Since coming to the Sox, Damon had an air of confidence, that developed into a huge ego as his time in Boston came to a close and especially when he went to New York. By self-proclaiming that he is ‘probably one of the nicest guys in baseball’ is a) wrong and b) so arrogant that it makes my skin crawl. Is this really the type of player you want on the Sox, Theo? If so, I have given you all together too much credit as a GM and am disappointed. Damon is a  far cry from being the guy that saves the Sox and helps them into the playoffs.

My final issue is the question, ‘What is the point?’ I understand Theo is trying to get a guy to potentially help the Sox off the ledge and into t he playoff hunt, but a mid-to-upper 30’s outfielder with a few months remaining on his contract doesn’t seem to make much sense. Besides the fact that I think the Sox are already too far in the hole to comeback, if Theo wants to make a move, why not build for now and the future? Why not try and go after a slightly younger player with a year or 2 left on his deal to help the club potentially contend these last few months and in the future. No fan wants to see in a Sox uniform anymore, especially if he isn’t producing in the batter’s box.

All-in-all, a deal for would be detrimental to the Sox clubhouse. I’m hoping Damon refuses to waive the no-trade clause and we can all get on with our lives. I understand they are in dire straights now, but Damon would only surely make it worse. The last few games the Sox appear to be playing with more focus and intensity, a giant ego is not going to continue to build the team spirit and gain momentum. Oh hell, I just can’t stand the guy and neither can 95% of Red Sox nation. Doesn’t that count for something?