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Strange Days, Indeed

Johnny DamonDid I read that right? Have my eyes deceived me? Johnny Damon in pinstripes? Someone wake us up, this can’t be happening…

So rather than stay and maintain that aura which had made him the toast of the town, Damon has decided that the difference of $3 million per season over four years makes it worth jumping ship and joining Boston’s archrival. A year ago, we were all celebrating the return of Varitek to the fold; now our faces hang not like the stockings from the chimney with care.

Two observations:

  1. Damon’s loss will hurt more on offense than defense. As one of the premier lead-off hitters in baseball, the Red Sox will need to find someone of his caliber to get on base and cross the plate more than 100 times per season, as he did every year that he was wearing a Boston uni. In the outfield, however, it became apparent this past season that he had lost a step or two, and the fact that his throwing motion looks like he’s participating in a shot put contest doesn’t help, either. Runners coming from second on a hit up the middle were rarely concerned about testing his arm and getting thrown out at the plate.
  2. For all that he did here, we say thanks. Along with the other Idiots, he made it fun to be a Red Sox fan again. That grand slam in Game Seven of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees pretty much assured the long-suffering fans of Boston that we were returning to the World Series and, more importantly, finally getting the last laugh on New York. Just don’t do that to us, okay?

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