Open Thread: Johnny Damon

Winter Classic at Yankee Stadium? Wait 'til 2016
Updated: Yankees bid $15M for Darvish
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.

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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.

Winter Classic at Yankee Stadium? Wait 'til 2016
Updated: Yankees bid $15M for Darvish
  • mustang

    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


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

      Please call 1 800 CASHMAN

      • MannyGeee

        Sign Madson and that body will only have to get in to the 4th!

    • CJ

      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

        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.

        • CJ

          That’s my original position but at this point I’d give in on banuelos.

    • Steve S.

      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

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

  • Jamey

    At least A-Rod has moved on to a less scary muscly blonde

    • mustang

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

      • Rich in NJ

        Nah, he’s not being injected, so to speak…

        • mustang

          He is doing the injecting you mean.
          Ok lets keep it clean.

      • Jamey

        We joke now but I’m willing to bet there’s an association to some doctor that will become an annoyance as soon as Mike Lupica catches wind of it.

        • Rich in NJ

          Since when does Lupica need “an association” or anything remotely factual to smear a Yankee?

          • Jamey

            Well he’ll have no clue who she is until some other writer points her out, THEN Lupica will smear A-Rod & probably somehow tie him to the Chris Benoit murder-suicide.

          • Rainbow Connection

            Good point. A-Rod was innocent, right?

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      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

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

        Soooooo, Mazel Tov?

      • Pat D

        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.

  • Anthony Murillo

    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.

  • J.R.

    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

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

      • GT Yankee

        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!

  • jsbrendog

    we bustin’ out the oaktag for this one?

  • John

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

    • Mike Axisa

      You heard wrong. And please don’t make shit up.

      • Harold Ramis

        Lighten up, Francis.

        • JohnnyC

          BTW, Year One was simply awful or perhaps offal.

          • Pat D

            Yea, one of the worst movies I’ve seen over the last few years.

    • MannyGeee

      So it went something like… So andy, feel like pitching more?

      Nah, got a u13 tourney I am coaching in July.

      You sure? I have A shit ton of Steinbrenner cash in the plane….

      Ummmmmmm, so you got this dinner then, right Brian?

  • Matt Imbrogno

    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

      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.

      • Craig Maduro

        Don’t forget about running the Red Sox’ shit in the 2nd half.

    • Johnn

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

    • Steve S.

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

    • MannyGeee

      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…

  • Monteroisdinero

    Jeets in Paris with Minka.

    • Need Pitching

      Paris Hilton?? Kinky…

      • Monteroisdinero

        He doesn’t have the range.

        • MannyGeee

          Only to the left tho….

    • Rainbow Connection

      Thanks, January 1st.

  • TogaSean

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

  • CMP

    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

      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.

  • RRRRRRandy

    This guy is possibly the best worst player you’ll ever find:

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

  • Jesse

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

  • Greg Golson

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

    • Jesse

      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).

  • William

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

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      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

      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.

  • Jonathan

    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.

  • Nathan

    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!