Monday, May 24, 2010
It seems like the "We're the New York Yankees: Who do you think you are rejecting our offer?" fiasco that went on between Johnny Damon and the Yankees, is working in Damon's favor.
A quick recap: Damon wanted a 2-year $24 million deal, give and take a few bucks. The Yankees offered 2 years at $8 million per year, give and take a few bucks. Both sides were adamant about their stance. So the Yankees went out and made some moves, basically telling Damon, bye, bye. In the end, Damon caved and was willing to take a one-year deal which the Yankees had earlier thrown on the table. The Yankees said, "too bad", "we've already made some moves, so go look for work elsewhere". Damon ended up taking a one-year, $8 million deal from the Detroit Tigers.
But, as of today, Damon is getting the last laugh. The Yankees went out and got Curtis Granderson, Randy Winn and Nick Johnson to fill the holes left by Damon and World Series MVP, Hideki Matsui, who was also run out of town.
Damon is currently batting .290 with a team-leading 32 runs scored. And that's what Damon has always gotten paid to do-- get on base and the big horses (Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez) will drive him in. So far, things are working in Detroit. The Tigers are 25-19, one game behind the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins.
The Yankees are still the Yankees at 26-18, but both Granderson and Johnson are on the DL and Winn, well, let's face it, he's Randy Winn. The 3 have combined for 29 runs scored, 3 less than Damon. And its no secret the Yankees are having outfield problems.
Also, in the clubhouse, Damon is a disciplined veteran who knows how to win. The word in Detroit is that he has been a big influence on rookie sensation, Austin Jackson (.337 AVG). To add insult to injury, the Tigers got Jackson in the Granderson trade from the Yankees. So the kid who replaced Granderson is being molded into a superstar by the man who Granderson replaced. Go figure!
As a fan, I'm happy things are working out for Damon. I've been following his career numbers because to me, he'll one day join the 3000 hit club. He currently has 2470 hits.
It was definitely a bummer to see Damon go after winning a championship with the Yankees and becoming one of the few players in history to win a World Series with both the Yankees and the Red Sox. And that in itself is impressive--
Someone tell Babe Ruth, he has company.
Photo courtesy of the AP