Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Damon a Yank- Hurray!

Before the tears start welling up and eventually roll down your cheeks... stop. Just stop for a minute and think about Damon, and more importantly, think about Red Sox history.

First if all, I like Johnny Damon. He was a team player, a productive leadoff hitter and a fun guy to have in town. He played hurt much of the time last year, never complained and always tried to get his butt into the lineup, even when he was banged up. He ran down everything in sight in center field, made circus catches and sacrificed his body to make plays.

That being said, he is going to be thrirty-three years old in 2006. as much as it hurts, you have to realize when a guys best years are most likely behind him. Common sense does not always reflect reality, look at Roger Clemens. I'm not going to mention Barry Bonds, because it has been obvious to me that started juicing it up with steroids years ago. Many players have played effectively into their later years in major league baseball, but no one no one in history EVER improved their numbers in their late thirties, especially blowing the roof off his power numbers as he approached forty years of age.

Damon body has taken a pounding, and he has had a chicken arm his entire career. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that you don't want Johnny Damon at thirty-six or thirty-seven years of age, not for thirteen million a year you don't.

The Red Sox historically have fallen for this type of bullying and over-selling by sports agents. They have continually signed players past their prime. There has been a painfully long l;ine of Jack Clarks, Andre Dawsons other statues.

There are no bonus points for signing guys that used to be great. As painful as it is to let guys like Damon and Bill Mueller go, guys tjat contributed, kept their mouths shut or remained positive and busted their buns to win for you, but this is how winning franchises do it.

You don't see the Patriots trading for the rights to Brett Favre or signing Jerry Rice out of retirement.

Boston got the best out of Johnny Damon. Boston cleaned up on the best years of his career and did the smart thing by letting him walk. If they could have gotten him for three, or even four years at a reasonable price, that would have been terrific, but this contract is based on what you expect to get from Damon over the next four years, not the last four. I don't care who they have out there next year, I applaud every intelligent decision. Remember when they panicked and wound up with Steve Avery for 13 million because he was "the best lefty available". He was also the worst left-hander available.

Damon's contract can not be judged by what he does this year, or even next. It needs to be judged over the life of the contract.

Thanks Johnny, and good luck.


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