Damon Chose Milestone, Playing Everyday to Yankees Return

johnny-damon raysThe Yankees flirted with signing Johnny Damon this offseason, but eventually settled on Andruw Jones after they couldn’t reach an agreement with him. Apparently the problem was that the Yankees weren’t offering Damon enough playing time.

According to Ken Davidoff of Newsday, the Yankees pitched Damon a scenario where he would play two days a week in the outfield and once a week as their DH. Instead he signed a deal with the Rays for one year and $5.25 million because that just wasn’t enough playing time for Damon adding, “I have milestone I’m trying to reach.”

That milestone is 3,000 hits. Damon currently has 2,571 hits and at the age of 37, he would have almost no shot at achieving this milestone as a bench player which is why he decided against a Bronx return. Damon chose personal milestones over another chance to win.

I would bash him over this, but with the questions in the Yankees pitching staff, the Yankees are not exactly a lock to challenge for the World Series. The Rays won’t be push overs either. Sure they lost a few players, but they have a solid pitching staff and with Damon might even win a good share of games. I’m not saying the Rays are World Series contenders, but playing for them might not be as selfish as it first appears.

Considering the huge difference in their salaries, Jones is only getting paid $2 million, and the fact that Jones hits left handed pitching very well, the Yankees are probably better off with Jones than Damon.

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8 Responses to Damon Chose Milestone, Playing Everyday to Yankees Return

  1. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    Damon's won a World Series with two different teams. I can't blame him for focusing on individual goals at this point, especially one as important as the 3,000 hit club. I say this even if the Yanks had five CCs in their rotation.

  2. I'm glad Jeter doesn't have that attitude. The 'Ive already won 5 world series so I don't need a 6th'.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      Well…Jeter get's paid way more than he would elsewhere. He already has the Hall of Fame locked up. His the face of the most famous sports franchise in this country's history. Comparing Jeter and Damon is like comparing apples and oranges. If Jeter had the career path that Damon has had with similar stats, I'm not at all certain that Jeter wouldn't do the same thing.

      It's easy to sit back as a fan and judge these guys and talk about winning "attitudes" and so forth. But he has a potential SIGNIFICANT legacy on the line here. It would mean a lot to him and his family if he could accomplish those goals. The man is a free agent, he can do whatever he wants for whatever reason he wants and his decision doesn't smack of any bit of selfishness.

      Are you going to berate CC for being totally selfish and materially affecting the Yankee financial situation when he opts out at the end of this year? Because that is WAY MORE egregious behavior from a selfish standpoint than anything Damon is doing IMO.

      • David K. says:

        I have to agree with HardcoreYF. Damon and Jeter's situations are completely different. I will say this about Damon, though. He comes off as a bit of a phony bec he's always pining about how he wants to come back to the Yankees. I'd respect him more as a person if he just man ups and says he's a free agent and will choose the best situation for himself. Knock off the phony crap about how he really wants to play here.

        • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

          I agree with your take on Damon. While I, and seemingly most fans, like him a lot, he can be very disingenuous about his love of the Yankees. While I'm sure he would prefer playing for them than any other team (all things being equal), he is not looking to sacrifice one bit to play for them. If he can get more money and/or more playing time elsewhere, that seems like that's what he will do.

  3. Mike S. says:

    Another thing is, what was the Yanks' offer? If it was the same they gave Jones… Twice a week OF and once a week DH? Probably not worth $5.25 million.

    Besides, I wouldn't want Damon's "Venus De Milo" arm in the OF twice a week (and I do like JD).

  4. Mindkind says:

    I was one of those fans torn between wanting to get younger and bringing Johnny Damon back. I still think Damon has something to offer with the bat, but his throwing arm is inadequate at this point. He won't accept the lesser role and I really can't judge him if he thinks he can still offer more on the field than GMs seem to give him credit for. Damon was great for us I believe but it's over. In my view he will be really good for Tampa Bay and maybe in a couple of years he will reach that prestigious milestone.

  5. John Lucas says:

    JD is a class-less, self-centered guy. He has been with 7 teams. I think that says it all. It would be a shame if he gets into the Hall. By the way, I agree with Reggie – GC does not belong there(nor do half of the players in the Hall now). It's all politics. How sad.