Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Looking for Boos

This man is off the DL and will be back at Fenway this weekend.  If anyone deserves the ovation it's him.  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

This man is off the DL and will be back at Fenway this weekend. If anyone deserves the ovation it's him. Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

Ian Browne and Peter Abraham both think that Red Sox fans “owe” Johnny Damon a standing ovation this weekend.  I won’t link to their articles, you can find them easily enough, and they are both absolutely ridiculous.

Earlier this year I looked up some quotes because Nick Cafardo wrote a piece trying to guilt fans into loving Johnny again.  I think now is a great time to remind folks that Johnny doesn’t deserve a standing ovation.

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From March 2010:

For your amusement today, check out Nick Cafardo’s article about Johnny Damon. You know how I loathe to link to most of the writers over there but I really did get a few chuckles out of Cafardo’s story. Now, I don’t “hate” Damon. I think he followed the money and then pretended that he went to New York because Boston didn’t want him enough. THEN he spent his years in New York talking about how he was with the team he always wanted to be with and winning a championship with them is what he always wanted to do. Now that they have no use for him and he’s digging in with the Tigers, he tells Nick Cafardo that leaving Boston was more difficult than leaving New York and that he hopes there are no hard feelings with Red Sox fans.

Listen, I get the money thing. I do. I don’t always like it but it’s ridiculous to think every player in ball will take hometown discounts when the owners aren’t willing to make similar concessions. What I don’t get. What I will NEVER get and what will always bother me about Damon is he pretended that he was loyal to the Boston fans. This doesn’t mean never leaving the team but what it does mean is keeping your yap shut. He talked a fair amount of trash about the team while he was with the Yanks (and by the team I mean the ownership and in regard to how things were run, not specific players) and, ultimately, his big no-no, which everyone knows and some can even name the date he said it, was promising the fans that, regardless of what happened, he wouldn’t go to the Yankees. He never said he wouldn’t leave. Here’s what he said, in May of 2005, and why I’ll never root for the man again.

“There’s no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they are going to come after me hard. It’s definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It’s not what I need.”

And here’s what he said in December of that same year when the Sox offered him $40 million to stay and the Yankees offered him $52 million.

”It was a very tough decision, but New York came after me aggressively and that’s what sealed the deal,” Damon told Channel 4 last night. ”They showed they really wanted me. I tried with Boston, waiting for them to step up, but unfortunately they didn’t and now I’m headed to New York.

So in May he knew they’d come after him “hard” and it didn’t matter because there was “no way” he could play for the Yankees. But in December, the Yankees coming after him “aggressively” is what “sealed the deal”. So there you have it, Johnny. YOU are the reason the Sox fans who “turned” on you did when you went to New York. And YOU are the reason that many of those same fans will never be a fan of yours again. I’m sure many will say “well, he’s not a Yankee any more, all is forgiven”. Not me. I thought I would be but Cafardo’s article (and my recalling these quotes) really, as Johnny said, seals the deal. Have a nice life, Johnny. Just stop trying to get back into the good graces of the Red Sox fans. I don’t want you getting your hypocritical stank on my Nation.

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Before Abraham and Browne pointed out that fans should honor Damon, I didn’t even realize he was coming to town this weekend.  I don’t give much thought to him any more.  I don’t automatically think “Johnny Damon is on that team” when I hear “Detroit Tigers”.   I just don’t.  But not thinking about him doesn’t change what he did or how I felt when he did it.   I don’t care if the Boston sports writers don’t “get” that…I DO care when they try to get superior on us and tell us what we should or shouldn’t do.

So here’s my advice:  If you think Johnny Damon deserves cheers, I don’t agree with you but have at it.  But don’t do it because you think you “owe” it to him.  Damon got plenty of love while he was here (and, in my opinion, he took it and set it on fire) and the fans don’t owe him a damn thing.  And if you feel like booing him, boo baby boo.  His socks aren’t red any more and if you still feel that strongly about it then let it out.

These writers make me tired.  Please don’t make them feel as powerful as they hope they are.

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July 29, 2010 - Posted by | 2010 | , , , ,

9 Comments »

  1. He came to my son’s ballfield to watch his son play. A mom from my son’s team asked him to sign some balls for my son’s team. He took the time to do this and made a lot of little kids happy. He coached T-ball at our local Y. I can’t hate him.

    Comment by Becky | July 29, 2010 | Reply

    • I don’t hate Damon but I don’t think he deserves any more “love” than we already gave him. It’s great that he was good to the kids and I don’t think in the grand scheme of things he’s a bad person…but he’s an idiot and he’s an idiot who said things he shouldn’t have and then blamed it on the people who heard those things not the one who said them. That isn’t worthy of a standing ovation to me.

      Comment by Cyn | July 30, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hate is a strong word and I don’t hate Johnny Damon. I don’t respect him either. There are other players from the 2004 team who left and played for someone else and they got standing ovations. Damon should NEVER have said he wouldn’t play for the Yankees when he knew they’d offer him big money.
    It also pisses me off when a player says he’s waiting for the Sox to step up. Excuse me, but the majority of people in this world would think 4 years for $40 million is MORE than just stepping up.
    No, I won’t be cheering Damon when he comes to Boston this weekend.

    Comment by Brenken | July 30, 2010 | Reply

  3. A bit like you, Cyn, I don’t Tigers = Damon. For some reason I thought was with/had gone back to the Royals. I don’t think about him and don’t want to. It even irritates me now that I stood in line to have him sign his autobiography back in 2005. No standing O from me unless it’s O for overcome by indifference.

    Comment by HorshamScouse | July 30, 2010 | Reply

  4. * I don’t think Tigers = Damon..
    * I thought he was with/..
    My typing getting worserer and worserer.

    Comment by HorshamScouse | July 30, 2010 | Reply

  5. Good points,everyone. I don’t think he’ll get a standing ovation, maybe it will be a mixed bag similar to Manny’s return.

    Comment by Becky | July 30, 2010 | Reply

  6. He’s (still) dead to me. That is all.

    Comment by jojo | July 30, 2010 | Reply

  7. Stony silence would be the way to go for me. Boos in my mind should be saved for the truly beyond the pale, like Roger Clemens or if Jose Canseco came back for some reason. Barry Bonds and A-Rod also acceptable IMO. But Damon? Eh.

    That said, I never felt that strongly about Damon one way or another. I wasn’t his biggest fan (but didn’t dislike him) when he was with the Sox. I think he’s not the brightest bulb in the box, and there was clearly an agent throughout that process advising him which crowd he should play to. It’s unfortunate he couldn’t do it more intelligently, but I just can’t seem to work up that much resentment about it anymore. Still, if there are fans who can, I’m with you, Cyn — have at. I expect a mixed and muted reaction, to be honest. But you never know.

    Comment by beth | July 30, 2010 | Reply

  8. After the 04 World Series win, Damon went off, like a few others on the team and cashed in. He wrote a book (Idiot: Beating “The Curse” and Enjoying the Game of Life), which I bought and read.

    In it, he praised ownership for their attentiveness to player needs during the course of the season, getting them little perks, or whatever they needed. He said they cared about the players and for that he respected them.

    I also recall the May 2005 comment and thought how shallow he must really be, especially considering the aftermath of signing with New York. Anyone remember the ad he took out in the Globe?

    Damon never had it so good, as he had it in Boston.

    It was simple. Here he was able to develop and grow his persona in ways that made him part of the center stage of star players. He never had that before joining the Sox, nor afterward. In New York, and primarily seen by some NYY fans, he was the ultimate art object theft… But for Damon, he never saw the same persona there that he enjoyed here.

    Either that, or Michelle’s parking tickets remain unpaid and since the Sox won’t pick up the tab, he’s looking to the fans to pay…

    Comment by Tru | July 30, 2010 | Reply


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