Yesterday, while the Red Sox won and beat Seattle to pull within 5.5 games of both the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays for the AL East and AL Wild Card leads, GM Theo Epstein claimed Detroit Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon off waivers. The teams are now in the middle of a 48-hour window to work out a deal.
Right now, Damon has a no-trade clause in his contract and is leaning towards staying put, but as we Sox fans all know, money talks. It’s the reason he left after the 2005 season in the first place, with the Yankees offering $13M/yr over four years, up from $8M the Sox paid him in 2004 & 2005, and the Red Sox not taking their offer seriously until it was too late. Thus, both sides are to blame for his leaving Beantown for The Bronx, where he won another championship last season.
Now, he has a “long and hard” decision to make: stay with a Tigers team that is definitely out of postseason contention, or join a Sox team again that is still in it and could greatly benefit from a veteran, future Hall of Famer like Damon, who currently has over 2500 hits and over 1500 runs scored in 16 seasons, four good ones of which were spent in Boston (2002-2005), where he led the self-proclaimed lovable “Idiots” 2004 Red Sox team to its first title in 86 years.
Yes, Sox fans have given him lots of shit for being a Yankee over the last several years, but we (fans) and he should put that behind in the next six weeks and go for another fun postseason run. He can’t replace all the injured players (Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia, for starters), but the 36-year-old veteran still brings legit, hard-nosed big league talent, a slew of successful postseason experiences and a colorful personality to a team that is literally sorely missing it.
So go, Johnny, go back to Boston, where you belong.
Photo credit: USAToday