Saturday, January 24, 2009

20 Days, 20 Players: Johnny Damon

Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.

While Johnny Damon has declined as a baseball player by every conceivable measure, he is still one of the most important members of the Yankees clubhouse, not to mention our best lead off hitter. A strong supporter of American soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, Johnny Damon is much more than just our best lead-off hitter, he's also a husband, a philanthropist, and most likely to wear a golden thong now that Giambi is gone. Besides getting on base, Damon is known for walking around the clubhouse naked, and shaking things up in an otherwise corporate environment. Most recently, Damon has served as one of the Yankees best ambassadors, reaching out to both CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, suckering them both into playing here. Damon is in the last year of his contract, and he's hoping the Yankees will pick him up for another couple years after this season. His performance over the course of the season may determine much of whether he is back in 2010, but the Yankees definitely benefit from his presence. The problem is, the Yankees have really stocked up at DH in the last couple of years, and currently carry three, while lesser teams just have one, maybe two.

My Fearless Prediction:

Damon will continue to be a more than serviceable lead-off hitter and will continue to be our best option in left. The Yankees will not offer him arbitration but expect them to offer a new contract for two years.

Little Known Damon Fact:

Johnny Damon once traveled to the Himalayas, in order to find himself. He only found street gangs, however, forcing him to use his wits and superior street fighting abilities to battle his way back home. Once back in Florida, he took a nap.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your prediction. In fact, I think he'll have a great season in the leadoff spot. I hated him with Boston and now I love the guy. Keep the spirit of the thong alive, Johnny!

Anonymous said...

The man played most of a season on a broken foot.
His "Homerun club" is one of the best charity ideas I've ever heard of.
How can you not love him?

Unknown said...

I absolutely love the guy. That said, there are probably better OF/DH options out there after this season.

Although it would be sad to see him go.

Fernando Alejandro said...

With Damon, I think it will boil down to how his legs hold up. If he swipes over 25 bases next season, and can bat close to .300, I think he'd be a good left field option through 2011. I think now that he's playing left field, he doesn't need to DH. The DH thing came about in 2007 when he was injured all season with various maladies, and Torre therefore saw it best that he play the field as little as possible. A healthy Damon does not need to DH nearly as much, except for a few days here and there to keep his legs fresh.

I do love his homerun club. I want to see what the homerun club can do on a good year. Could you imagine what it would look like if they signed Manny?

Anonymous said...

I live in the Tampa area and often go watch the Yanks play the Rays in St. Pete. There is an area before the game where fans can gather and try to get autographs, and last time we were lucky enough to get Damon's. He was nice enough to sign both my kids baseballs and he held my 4 year old son for a picture. That is extremely gangster in my book.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Yankee Magic, I agree! Damon is one of the more fan friendly players there are.