Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lupica: Bring Damon Back

[Side note: If he's not coming back to the Bronx, I hope Johnny Damon signs with the Detroit Tigers–who from all accounts are lacking a solid lefty bat w/above average power–and helps them win the AL Central. (Btw, Johnny hit 24 HRs in '09. How many HRs did Bret Gardner, Randy Winn, and Nick Jonson hit last year? 13. Combined.) A recent poll says 73% of Tigers fans would welcome the acquisition of Johnny Damon–as long it's not a break-the-bank type deal.]

I'm not a fan of Mike Lupica's but I agree w/him on the whole Yankee "budget"/Damon scenario:

If the Yankees want to have a budget, tell them to tee it up with the same payroll the Mets have, the Red Sox, the Phillies, the next biggest spenders. Tell them to get themselves under the threshold for the luxury tax in baseball, because they're the only ones over it.

Or tell us that they still can't make money on their baseball operation even winning the World Series. Then everybody in town can get their minds around letting Damon walk away.

And believe me, his side isn't in this for the truth and beauty. Scott Boras believes that baseball teams are just ATM machines for him. Every time he's at one of these Yankee press conferences and shifts his gaze, I just think he's on alert in case somebody has dropped a twenty on the carpet. If he's chafed the Yankees on this one, well, it's not like this is the first time.

It's in his best interests to get his client the best situation as well as the most money. And Damon's best situation is left field, Yankee Stadium, batting second.

The Yankees found $300 million when they wanted Alex Rodriguez back. They found the money for Teixeira. They can still find the money for Johnny Damon. Can they win without him? Of course they can.

But who's forcing them to try?

They were supposed to be done spending money last winter after they spent a quarter-of-a-billion bucks on Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Then Cashman wanted Teixeira and they weren't done. Nobody is saying Johnny Damon is as important to the 2010 Yankees as Teixeira was to the '09 Yankees.

They're better with him than without him. They don't win the World Series without him.

Bring back Damon.