When the Detroit Tigers come to the Bronx for four games starting tonight, there will be a VERY familiar face hitting second in their lineup. It’s true, Johnny David Damon is set to make his return to Yankee Stadium this evening.
While he did put up solid numbers over his four years in pinstripes — .285/.363/.458 with 77 homers, 296 RBI a 114 OPS+ and No. 27 — the divorce was nothing short of bitter. After scoffing at Brian Cashman’s offer of two years at $7 million per, he left town to play for the Tigers. Not only did he haul ass out of New York, but he said some not nice things on his way out. In my opinion, it was kind of a bitch move.
After watching him and reading his quotes for four years, I have to believe that this whole charade was orchestrated by his agent, Scott Boras. Damon seemed like a good guy that loved playing in NY and always said the right thing. Being Boras’ puppet doesn’t make what he did right, but it definitely paints Damon as less of a scumbag. Remember, Boras did the same thing with A-Rod’s negotiations a few years back and, surprisingly, A-Rod took the high road and canned him to handle the deal on his own.
This begs the question: if you were going to the game(s) will you boo Johnny Damon or not?
As for me, I am torn. I’ll never forget chest-bumping and hugging everyone in sight at YS II on that chilly October night during the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 2007 ALDS when Johnny hit that three-run homer off Westbrook. Plus, who could forget the double steal and everything else that went along with the 2009 postseason? I’ll cherish those memories ’til the day I die. However, what I can’t scrape from my memory is how he went out — a coward that wound up getting just $1 million more for 2010 (and possibly $6 million less in the long run) than he would have from the Yanks.
Upon further review, I guess if I was going tonight I wouldn’t boo him and I wouldn’t cheer him. I’d be neutral. It will be fun to see what Bald Vinny and the rest of the Bronx faithful have in store for him though.