Two Looks at the Damon Signing


Excuse the political incorrectness, but Jesus has made a pact with the Devil.

Word is out that Johnny Damon will sign a four year, 52 million dollar contract with the New York Yankees to become their new center fielder.

Due to the outcry I received from Red Sox fans and the joyousness in Yankee camp (11 instant messages and an e-mail), I’ve decided to take a look at the signing from both point of views.

There is no question that Damon will be a huge upgrade from the disaster that was Bernie Williams/Bubba Crosby last year.

Jeter and Alex Rodriguez can move back a spot in the batting order where they belong and the Yankees lineup from top to bottom just gets more terrifying.

As many have pointed out, on opening day, the Yankees will take the field with three certain Hall of Famers, eight perennial all stars, and one future all star in Robinson Cano.

Although only Bernie rivals his arm in the “who has the weakest arm?” debate, Damon has outstanding range in the outfield. He will be able to go get balls that Williams fell asleep on.

Here’s a scary picture. In the playoffs needing a run, Damon gets a hit followed by an always perfect Jeter bunt. Runner on second with Rodriguez and Sheffield coming to bat. You do the math.

From the Red Sox perspective, the Yankees overspent to get Damon, something that was expected but will hurt them in the future. His greatest tool is speed and by the last year of his contract, he will lose much of that ability.

Factoring in his age and the fact that last season was one of his best; I wouldn’t expect Damon to perform any better than he ever did for the Sox.

Sorry Yankee fans, 150 runs scored just won’t happen. Damon doesn’t get on base enough to be driven in that many times. He only recorded 53 walks last season and has continually been just barely over the league average when it comes to OBP.

Boston fans should take solace in the fact that now the Red Sox can go out and trade for Seattle Mariner center fielder Jeremy Reed, a player they covet. He struggled last year but is just 24 and projects to be an all star some day.

Overall, the immediate impact will hurt the Red Sox more than it will help the Yankees.

The Sox will not be able to replace what Damon brought to the table initially, but not having to pay him and the hopeful emergence of a younger center fielder will benefit them in the future.

As for the Yankees, they have once again one-upped their rivals.


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