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Boston Might Not Like Johnny Damon Anymore

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Stay with me here.

Johnny Damon, whose once-flowing locks ran around center field of Fenway Park in Boston, used to be one of the most endeared players on the Red Sox. Known as a great leadoff hitter and dazzling defender, one of Sawx Nation’s lasting impressions of Damon was the grand slam in Yankee Stadium that allowed Boston to complete their remarkable comeback in the 2004 ALCS and eventually win that elusive World Series.

Still with me?

Now that same person in the off-season crosses the rivalry line and inks a contract worth $52 million over four years with the dreaded New York Yankees. Then, when Damon and the Yankees made the year’s first trip to Boston of the year, the fans didn’t react so kindly.

Someone, knock me over with a feather.

And Damon saw it coming from a mile away. (Well, it was more like 190.) In fact, the ESPN announcers said that Damon asked his teammates to call him the nastiest names fathomable all day so he could prepare for the onslaught of insults. Yet I wouldn’t put it past some Sox fans to invent new swear phrases for the man.

The first at bat of Monday night’s game between the Yankees and Red Sox was that of the aforementioned prodigal center fielder. Sure enough, he received more boos than President Bush at … well, than President Bush. A muted camera, however, would have shown several front row fans clapping for him.

The Chowder Crowd got creative with their signs to commemorate Damon’s return to Fenway. Most of them were references to “Traitor,” “Johnny Demon,” and “$ellout.” One of my favorites had to be the combination “Looks Like Jesus, Acts Like Judas, Throws Like Mary.” Although I have to say that some signs didn’t make a lick of sense.

After the game it was fun to fool Chelsea — another unabashed Sox fan — for a moment when I told her that in the game Damon hit the winning grand slam and made the game saving catch. In actuality, it was Boston’s current fan favorite David Ortiz who put the nail in the coffin by crushing a ball that (fittingly?) sailed over Damon’s glove and into the center field stands for the final three runs in Boston’s 7-3 triumph.

The return was ruined, but the season is still very much intact. It’ll be one heck of a divisional battle between these two teams (this was just the first of 19 games ‘tween the two) Either way, Boston fans surely got an extra shot of pride by slapping an early “L” on the team and their “traitor demon $ellout.”

While I try my best not to take sides in this rivalry, I can’t help but wonder if the New York fans would be as prickly to Derek Jeter if he were to sign with the Red Sox after his contract expires. Still, I surmise the Yankees’ faithful pray nightly for Jeter’s lifetime commitment to pinstripe servitude by muttering, “Stay with me here.”

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  • sal m

    red sox fans are quite pathetic…i’m not a yankee fan, but watching the sox fans over the years has made it easy for me to pick sides when these two teams play.

    the fact that they think paul mirabelli is their savior speaks volumes.

    and where derick jeter has been a yankee all of his life, and his defection to boston could truly be considered a traitorous act, damon was a two year rental. he played for the royals and a’s before coming to bean town. and despite the public posturing, behind the scenes theo epstein and the rest of the sox hierarchy didn’t want damon back because they felt he had hit his peak.

    remember they were right when they decided pedro and clemens were pretty much done, weren’t they?

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    how can i take anything sal says seriously when it’s freaking doug mirabelli who returned to catch wakefield?

    favorite sign of the night: “johnny, you really ARE an idiot”.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Actually Sal remember Damon signed with NY during the brief period Theo Epstein took his ball and left the franchise for a couple weeks. Just another burden to put on the shoulders of Dan Shaugnessy.

  • House

    To Sal M, before you criticize anyone, get your facts straight, and frankly, just stop being a retard.
    “Doug” Miribeli is the back-up catcher that was flown into Boston to catch Wakefield, and, the the last time I checked, Sox won that game. Who said he was the savior? He is Wake’s catcher, and you’ll see him every 5th game, and watch Wakefield become an effective pitcher again.
    Damon spent 4 years in Boston, and no one said Pedro “was done”. Pedro wanted a larger contract than the Sox brass was willing to offer. Clemens, you tool, was a decision made by the Duquette regime, which no Boston fan is happy about.
    So before you run your uneducated mouth about something you are or aren’t a fan of, google some facts, pick up a newspaper, or watch ESPN before you enter your foot into your ass… mouth, whatever.

  • MCH

    All I know is, I’m good for another 86…er…84 years. (1918, 2004, 2090…)

  • FRANKLY PANTI

    JOHNNY DAMON SUCKS! BIG ASS HE IS A MOTHERFUCKER. HE GIVES BLOJOBES TO HIS DAD AND HAD GOT HORNY 1 NIGHT AND HAD SEX WITH HIS MOTHER IN HER SLEEP, AND INJOYED IT!F U C K , U
    -_-ASSSSSSSSSSSSS RED SOX ARE DOING BETTER WITH OUT HIM, THE BIG PAPI (DAVID)HIT 54 HOMERUNES AND HE IS A HELL OF ALOT BETTER THEN U BITCH!
    ASSSSSSS
    HOLEEEEE!

  • ruth

    If you don’t think Yankee fans would be prickly about Jeter choosing the Sox over the Yankees – then you don’t know much about your city or team.

    And no one ever considered Mirabelli a savior. It’s called “irony” folks.