Damon predicts a hot start

Yanks, Bronx pols at odds over community funds
Torre's tenure was too long

While the Mets and Phillies are engaged in their annual pissing contest over who’s the best in the NL East, Johnny Damon predicted his own early season success today:

“I’m ready to go out there and prove to everyone that I’m still a pretty good player. I’ve been pretty consistent over my career. But when you talk about good players in the league my name hardly comes up and I don‘t think that’s right. I need to go out there and show them.”

Peter Abraham notes that Damon looks like he’s in great shape. This is, needless to say, great news for Yankee fans. Damon got off to a terrible start last season and didn’t really hit his stride until August when his nagging injuries cleared up.

Meanwhile, over the last few seasons, the Yanks have started the year 9-14 (2007), 13-10 (2006), 10-14 (2005) and 12-11 (2004). If they could get out to a fast start, the team’s winning ways would take some pressure off the pitching. Make no mistake about it; Johnny Damon atop the Yankee lineup will be a major factor in that potential success.

Yanks, Bronx pols at odds over community funds
Torre's tenure was too long
  • http://Www.Samiamsports.blogspot.com Samiamsports

    Is this a contract year for damon?cause if it is than this would make sense

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      No, there’s 2 years left on his deal.

  • Adam

    when you talk about good players in the league my name hardly comes up and I don‘t think that’s right

    johnny, i think that is exactly right. you are not now, nor have you ever been one of the best players in the league. last year your runs created per 27 outs was 5.58. 85 players with enough at bats to qualify for the batting title had a higher rc/27, including dmitri young, chone figgins, aaron rowand, corey hart, shane victorino, ryan church, kevin millar, randy winn, and kenny lofton.

    in your best statistical season, 2004, your rc/27 was 6.82, which was behind 34 other guys. so, even in your best year, you were still not even in the top 20% of qualifiers.

    why do players that are consistently no better than average (career ops+ of 102) think that they are god’s gift to baseball?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      That’s true, but when Damon’s right, he makes the lineup so much better. He did for us late last year, he did for Boston, he did it for Oakland, he’s done it everywhere. He may not put up the sexiest numbers, but he’s a game changer when he’s right, and there’s not many players that can say that.

    • steve (different one)

      hint: look up “positional adjustment”.

      • Adam

        no, he’s a left fielder!

        • steve (different one)

          your post was discussing his years as a plus defensive CFer.

          • Adam

            i understand, but the fact of the matter is he is no longer a center fielder. our expectations for our starting left fielder shouldn’t be reduced because he is a former center fielder. any extra offense that we get from our of primarily defensive positions (2b, ss, c) is being negated by low production as premium offensive positions (lf, 1b), and that’s not okay with me.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

              You forgot CF. Melky is providing well below average production in center field.

              • Adam

                i sort of left cf out on purpose because it is what many would consider a “premium defensive position”. melky’s bat certainly wouldn’t play in a corner, but it is tolerable in center. plus, he makes me laugh, and that has to count for something, no?

  • http://aroundthemajors.blogspot.com/ AroundtheMajors

    Hopefully Damon is in great shape and healthy, if he is The offense should be off to a great start.


  • Jeff

    Glad a little pride might kicking in after last year’s struggles.

  • Ivan

    When Damon caught fire, (and you can pretty much say the same for every lefthanded hitter) the yankees caught fire. He hit well in the postseason as well.

    I,ve Always liked Damon even from his Boston days.

    Is it me, or I,ve got this tingle inside me that something special might happen this year for the yankees?

  • Brian

    Oh, I’m tingling. But that might be because I have been sitting in this chair too long.

    Damon’s attitude and the apparent resolve of many players to come into camp with something to prove is flat-out awesome. Any fan questioning the private reasons or ulterior motives of certain players is focusing on the wrong thing. We want to win and we want these players to earn astronomical salaries based on great performance, right? So when Giambi says he’s got more years in the tank, I might not say I want a part of that, but for now if he pulled off a 30 HR season, I’d be one happy dude.

    The real question perhaps, and what was discussed tangentially when Joe T. received some praise here the other day, is whether the Girardi Effect is noticeable upfront, but the Torre Magic is lacking near the end. Not unlike Daisuke’s trim, we want that business upfront, but we also want that party in the back. That said, the Torre/Jeter et al-Magic, obviously needed a kick in the cloak, and I have to believe we will be the beneficiaries of a few good shows here.

  • http://mvn.com/milb-yankees EJ

    I think we should be careful in overstating Damon’s impact. Obviously, having .280/.360/.450 at the top of the order in stead of .280/.339/.344 is a huge upgrade for the lineup spot, but Damon’s probably the 7th best hitter on the team. Continuation of the 2007 success of Jeter, Arod, and Posada is far more important than the bounce back of Damon.

  • Rich

    If Damon remains healthy, I wonder if they would move him to CF if Melky slumps, at least until A-Jack is ready. He has a lot more value there.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Shhh. The first rule of RAB is that we don’t talk about replacing Melky.

      Oh wait.

    • RollingWave

      It really depends on how everything shakes out. and the question here is, is Damon not healthy because he was getting banged up playing CF?

      It really depends, whatever the result, having 4 competent OF is a very good idea not just because of injury, but also because of flexibility concerns.

  • Emily

    I like Johnny. He is great at not only getting the pitch count up on pitchers, but a threat on base. He’s been great in left field and though he may have not has as good a season last yr. batting wise, he came on and was a great contribution to the Yankees newfound life and making it to the playoffs. He’s a fighter and I think he’s good for the team.

  • http://Www.Samiamsports.blogspot.com Samiamsports

    He has two more years left?chalk this up as another bad signing for cashmoney

    • steve (different one)

      why? he was fantastic in 2006. he was poor in the first half of 2007 and good in the second half.

      2008 hasn’t even happened yet. if he is great this year, will it still be a poor signing?

      in other words, we don’t know YET if it was a bad signing. so far, it hasn’t been bad.

      have much of an agenda?

  • Rob_in_CT

    While Damon has never been one of the best players in baseball, I’m all for him giving it his all because he wants to show people that he is. He won’t be, but perhaps it will lead to a bounce-back. Athletes have to have self-confidence to succeed. So they tend to say silly things from time to time.

  • Curramba

    He should have been in shape last year to begin with. Glad to hear that it still matters to him because by not showing up in shape last year it sure didn’t give that impression.

    • steve (different one)

      Damon played almost all of 2006 with a broken bone in his foot.

      i thought he couldn’t work out as much last offseason because he needed his foot to heal?

      or are we just assuming he “didn’t care”?

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