Jan
03

Open Thread: Johnny Damon

By

Still insane. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

I was conflicted when the Yankees signed Johnny Damon on this date in 2006, giving him a four-year contract just two years after he broke our hearts during the 2004 ALCS. He was the enemy, he wasn’t supposed to wear pinstripes. Like he’s done everywhere else, Johnny grew on the fans during his time in New York and became an integral part of the team.

I think we all have a “signature moment” associated with players, like Scott Brosius and his homer off Byung-Hyun Kim or Jim Leyritz and his homer off Mark Wohlers, and my signature moment for Damon is the double steal in Game Four of the 2009 World Series. Dunno why, but whenever I think of Johnny as a Yankee, that’s the first thing that jumps to mind. I remember thinking that he must have thought the ball went into center field when he first broke towards third, giving me a mild heart attack. Stuff like that is why baseball is better than any other spot; I’d never seen a player do that before, and Damon had just done it on the biggest stage possible.

Johnny turned 38 last month, a few weeks after wrapping a nice season with the Rays that was a far cry from his time in pinstripes. Damon hit .285/.363/.458 during his four years in New York, playing in 140+ games all four years even though he always seemed to be battling calf problems or a sore back or some other old baseball player ailment. I’m not sure if he qualified as a fan favorite, but he was a solid player with the Yankees and gave us one hell of a memory in that ninth inning on that cold November night.

* * *

Here is tonight’s open thread. The Islanders are the only local team playing tonight, but guess what? Still no MSG if you’re a Time Warner customer. Talk about whatever you like here, have at it.

Categories : Open Thread

55 Comments»

  1. mustang says:

    The Yankees weren’t willing to meet the Athletics’ asking price for Gio Gonzalez, and they preferred Gonzalez to Garza, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Sherman says the Yankees are “essentially not in” on Garza.

    I don’t think the Yankees were looking at RAB target breakdowns. Seriously it looks like Jackson (that’s 24 million a year if add the tax!!!) or bust and I rather bust.

    • mustang says:

      Wanted:

      Cheap warm body that can pitch until the 6th inning.

      Please call 1 800 CASHMAN

    • CJ says:

      If betances projects to be Daniel Cabrera, I’m ready to cave in and do banuelos and betances for garza I already wasn’t high on betances I read that, think of brackman.

      • Dave203 says:

        No thanks. Leave Montero/Banuelos/Williams out of the deal and they can have just about any other player. Still have a lot of good prospects to pick from.

        Hopefully we can pull it off, but I wouldn’t be in favor or stretching and losing any of those 3.

    • Steve S. says:

      Matt Garza is a FAR more accomplished pitcher than Gio Gonzalez. I’d give up a better package for Garza than I would for Gio. The only equalizer might be the fact that Gio has 4 years of team control, while Garza has just 2.

      • Dave203 says:

        Years of control is a big difference in this ridiculous pitchers market. 2 years can easily be $30 million for Gio/Garza.

  2. Jamey says:

    At least A-Rod has moved on to a less scary muscly blonde http://www.wwe.com/inside/over.....rie-wilson

    • mustang says:

      I wonder if he had to ask MLB for approve we all know how clean WWE is.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      When my wife and I were choosing wedding DJs a few years ago, the guy we chose had a photo album of the other weddings he’d done. Front and center was Torrie Wilson’s wedding to Billy Kidman. Not only is Alex having Kidman’s sloppy seconds, but I’d like to think that this brings Alex and I a bit closer.

      • MannyGeee says:

        I think this makes you and Alex Eskimo Brothers… Or something…

        Soooooo, Mazel Tov?

      • Pat D says:

        I used to work with a guy who is really good friends with Kidman and so he knew Torrie a bit as well. He said that Torrie was a bit of a flirt, somewhat ditzy, fairly hot and genuinely nice. This was about 9-10 years ago, though, so who knows how she might have changed.

  3. Anthony Murillo says:

    I remember watching that game on Yankees Stadium Jumbo-Tron. They opend up the Stadium that night to the fans for free. I remember it was so damn cold that night but the end result was well worth it. The train ride home was so much fun.

  4. J.R. says:

    I remember yelling at the TV because when they showed it there was no way to know that 3B was uncovered. Definitely my favorite Damon moment ever.

    • mustang says:

      I did the same I was calling Damon an idiot and that’s putting nicely.

      • GT Yankee says:

        I literally screamed WTF! After the fact I thought I was alone in my jumping to the wrong conclusion, but obviously the camera angle fooled a whole bunch of us! Damon was a warrior and he won me over….took the switch from CF to LF without a peep, played 1B a couple of times as needed. A TEAM guy! Thanks for your good service JD! I also appreciate your rejecting a trade back to the Sox a couple of years ago from Detroit. It’s true you did at one point drive a stake through our hearts, but now that the dust has settled I’ll remember you as a Yankee!

  5. jsbrendog says:

    we bustin’ out the oaktag for this one?

  6. John says:

    Rumor has it that Cashman was in Texas having dinner with Pettitte this evening.

  7. The moment in that picture is probably the quickest I’ve gone from OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?! to HOLY SHIT THAT WAS GENIUS YOU’RE AMAZING.

    • vin says:

      Totally. Genius move by Damon… and I still can’t believe no one was covering 3rd. You figure that if a team plans on shifting for a LH hitter, they’d all be on the same page in the event the runner on first attempts to steal.

      That was such an enjoyable season. It had just enough built-in misery to make it that much sweeter (lackluster opening day, interleague stumbling). ARod’s triumphant return, all the walk-offs, first season in the new ballpark, first ever HOPE week, Francisco Cervelli when we still liked him, great seasons by Jeter and Tex, Nick Swisher with the 0.00 ERA, etc.

    • Johnn says:

      I thought the Same EXACT thing when it happened. Did a complete 180 while I was yelling at the tv.

    • Steve S. says:

      Ha! I think we all did. A wider camera angle would have shown us what he was thinking.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Only time in the history of ever I thought Damon was a genius… Well, that and the smoking hot wife….

      Otherwise, always thought him kinda dumb as a rock…

  8. Monteroisdinero says:

    Jeets in Paris with Minka.

  9. TogaSean says:

    That play Damon made was pure awesomeness, won’t ever forget that.

  10. CMP says:

    Happy 35th to AJ Burnett today.

    I hope the Yankees get him a first class airline ticket to San Diego this year, one way of course along with a check for $22 million made out to Josh Byrnes.

    • Jesse says:

      If A.J Burnett gets traded I will vow to watch all of his starts in entirety live, no matter where he goes, even if a Yankee game is on at the same time.

  11. RRRRRRandy says:

    This guy is possibly the best worst player you’ll ever find: http://www.baseball-reference......witt001ant

    His .240 BA is actually impressive considering his terribleness at making contact

  12. Jesse says:

    That .240 BA you’re talking about was just one year. He hit .219 in his minor league career with a dreadful .260 OBP.

  13. Greg Golson says:

    Since you are going with a 2009 World Series hero, have I already missed a Damaso Marte Open Thread?

    • Jesse says:

      I don’t remember seeing one either, but I’m guessing there will be one on February 14 (His birthday) or July 26 (The day he got traded to the Yankees).

  14. William says:

    Is Damon going to the hall of fame as a Red Sox, then?

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      He goes in wearing the cap of the team he always wanted to play for, which is always the last team he signed with.

    • Pat D says:

      He’s gotta get to 3000 hits to even have a chance.

      And if he does get there, he’ll be the first person to test whether or not 3000 hits is an automatic ticket to Cooperstown.

  15. Jonathan says:

    Everyone always says they’ve never seen this before but Brandon Phillips did it, and it was clearly planned, several years before Damon did with the huge shift on for Adam Dunn. I think one other player did it recently but I can’t remember who. Phillips didn’t slide or anything, he just kept going.

  16. Nathan says:

    I liked Johnny Damon. I think his time with the Yankees was underrated: solid, durable and more pop than expected.

    And his roll call was one of the better ones!

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