welcome Traitor Damon


photo by Samara Pearlstein

Well, it looks like the Tigers have signed Damon. A “source familiar with negotiations” is saying that it’s a one year, $8 million contract. It’s not yet official because Damon has yet to take/pass a physical, and Mr. Dombrowski is refusing to confirm or deny anything until after the hypothetical-but-at-this-point-extremely-likely exam takes place.

He will play left field, because the idea of his arm in center in Comerica is beyond hilarious. Carlos Guillen and his Surgically Repaired Knees will DH a lot. Sometimes Damon will DH and Carlos will be filled with resentment and bodily pain. I guess Austin Jackson had better be up for significant playing time at the big league level. Ryan Raburn is at home crying into a bottle of Absolut right now.

Naturally I hate it. I suppose I shall have to revive my Sheffield at the Plate Policy, which involved imagining that it was Paws out there every time he had to come up to hit. Look, you all have your little ways of retaining your sanity, I have mine.

At least it isn’t a two year deal. Sigh.

Hey, on the bright side: welcome to Detroit, Michelle Damon! Hope you hate it here just as much as you overtly thought you would!

27 responses to “welcome Traitor Damon

  1. The good news: it’s only a one-year deal. If Illitch wants to pay the guy $8M, then so be it. I can’t say it was a horrible move, as it brings someone with a lot of winning experience (a la Pudge?) to help solidify the outfield and the clubhouse. Also, the Tigers can now rationalize buying their Geritol in bulk with him, Maggs and Guillen.

    Bad news: he’s a past-his-prime player with a rag arm playing in one of the most vast outfields in MLB. He’s spent pretty much all of his career in my more forgiving ballparks; I predict a lot of issues arising from this.

  2. IHaveNoCleverNickname

    I have a bad feeling about this.
    Mostly because I am also feeling like five Carlos Guillens on the DL and a drunken Ryan Raburn who is supposed to be playing left but is instead wandering around center field would be more useful to the team than this guy.

    Please tell me I’m wrong in feeling this.

  3. Bleargh. :(

  4. It will be very interesting to see when we hear from his wife for the first time.

  5. If his wife is smart she’ll keep quiet instead of trying to be patronizing and take back her words.

    Lots of people have to live places they don’t really want to for job-related reasons – there is nothing unusual about it. Just don’t gripe about it, finish out the season, and then go somewhere else like anyone stuck someplace they aren’t happy with would do.

  6. But Samara, it’s a sin and redemption narrative:

    Damon comitted betrayed Boston fans by taking the NY offer in ’05. But he learned bitter lessons in New York–crooked Wall Street financiers stole his money, and his new team, betraying him in turn just as he betrayed Boston fans, scorned him for a younger, pretter face.

    Relegated by karma and fickle fate to a platoon role on a mere Central Division team from some rustbelt urban hellhole, can he learn valuable life lessons from his scrappy new teammates and crusty old manager, put aside his corrupt big city ways, reinvigorate his fading career, and discover the true meaning of loyalty on his way to World Series immortality?

    Or anyway, that’s the way they’ll tell the story when they get around to making the movie . . .

  7. booooooooooooooo!

  8. @ rea –

    Not a bad story, even though I’m not much for tearjerkers.

  9. rea wins the gold medal for lemonade-making…

    My glasses aren’t quite so rosy, but we’ve gotta give him a chance, if only because he’s OUR old weak-armed treasonous bum now. JD doesn’t need to redeem himself as a person, just play acceptable baseball. Let him win a few early games w/ clutch hits, & see how quickly we reconsider.

    Sure, it makes us look like hickle fypocrites, but it’s part of that variety of love called fandom. And it’s an old tradition for the Red Wings. Remember Ciccarelli, Brett, Chelly –what awful citizens they all were? Until we traded for the darlings, that is, & their inner virtue emerged? Like the winged wheel, a fancy blue D makes anyone look better. And in your eyes, Sam, how could he look any worse?

  10. PS to CleverNickname: great nickname!

  11. David O. (13194013)

    What about Damon’s stints in KC and Oakland? Everyone forgets he existed pre-Boston!

  12. Horrible, terrible, crying into my Absolut just like Ryan Raburn, etc.

    I’ll just keep telling myself, at least it’s only one year, at least it’s only one year.

  13. From a baseball perspective, this is not a bad deal. Damon, even after adjusting for ballpark and age, projects to be a pretty good player (2.3 wins according to CHONE projections). That comes out to $3.4M per win, which is decent. The Valverde signing on the other hand …

  14. Can you please make his illustration a 2003-2004 looking Damon even if he stays clean-cut in Detroit.

    Oooh- maybe even paws with 2003 Damon hair in keeping with your policy.

    Thank you.

    BTW- I’m looking forward to seeing the illustrations in Beyond Batting Average. I’ve already ordered a copy.

  15. Pretend the first period in that last post is a question mark.

  16. I dunno… Personal “traitorism” issues aside, he does fill a need. And, here’s what I keep wondering: what if one of the Big Bats gets hurt? If Miggy goes down, then you swap in Carlos Guillen to 1st base, and maybe play Raburn more in LF, and Damon DH’s more. If Guillen’s Surgically Repaired Everything goes all ouchy for any length of time, etc. The possibilities go on. I just await his lengthy quoting in the press of what an a$$ho!e A. J. Pierzynski was in that round of golf. I swear, if I see so much as an aside mention of such a thing, ALL WILL BE FORGIVEN. ALL. OF. IT.

  17. Pocoloco, when someone hands you lemons, the best thing to do is make lemonade. I like how Rea’s movie ends, at least.

  18. heitk1le: Gosh, was I too subtle? What else would ‘lemonade-making’ mean? We needed solace, & rea went to great lengths to find some, for which I’m thankful.

    Then there’s the Ron White strategy:
    When life (or Dombrowski) gives you lemons, make lemonade –then look for someone life is giving VODKA to. (No, Ryan, nooo! It’s just a joke. Your bod’s a temple, & your livelihood. Talk to Miggy & G-Money, please.)

    Either way, we all gotta believe: there IS life after signing Johnny Damon.

  19. I have never booed a player in my life. I think it’s just wrong, but I may have to boo this guy even if he does turn out to be a star player. I love the players who play for the Tigers because they want to (Kaline, Trammel. Granderson). These guys played here and loved the city and team. It kills me that Graderson went to New York and Damon came here. The worst part is that the news media here is hyping this story so much. You would think that they would take exception to Damon’s wife’s comments about coming here. What a bunch of sheep.

  20. I get Sam not liking Damon as a Sox fan. But seriously, why should Tiger fans who aren’t Sox fans care if Damon boned the Sox? Also, I’m not sure why I should care if a player’s wife wants to move to Detroit. In fact, if a player’s wife says she’s jazzed about moving to Detroit, I’d kind of assume she was just blowing smoke up the collective posteriors of metro Detroit.

    Who, other than those with familial ties here, gets excited about moving to Detroit when their previous homes were New York and Florida? Personally, I don’t really care if the players themselves are thrilled about living in Detroit. Only a couple current Tigers do, unless I’m mistaken, right?

    All I ask is that when they get between the lines they perform. Damon has performed at a high level throughout his career and has been remarkably durable despite his age. To me, that makes this deal exciting.

  21. I’m sure plenty of players’ wives have opinions of where they do and don’t want their husbands to sign. But that’s something between them and the player. When it comes out into the media it portends nothing good to me, all I see is a future of potential distractions where there are absolutely no reasons for them.

    Nobody’s saying player wives (or even players) have to be in love with Detroit as a city, but goddamn, as a baseball wife all you have to do in that situation is the bare minimum of public relations: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything publicly. Of course only a few players live year round with their families in the Detroit area, but nobody’s asking them or their wives to sing its praises, just to not openly hate on it or imply that dear God, anywhere else would be better, and they don’t. Good enough for me.

    Not that this is surprising, given Mrs. Damon’s track record (feuding with Shonda Schilling, anyone?), and I’m sure less of the distracting stuff will come out in the Detroit media market than it did in Bos/NY, but I still think people have plenty of right to be annoyed.

  22. While he is on the downside of a near Hall of Fame career, as last year proved Damon can still play. He will likely DH more than we might expect because of wear and tear, but this is a guy who always plays hard and has always been reputed to be a good clubhouse presence. The one year commitment makes this a good deal.

  23. This is a retarded deal, the only thing it adds is depth, at best he adds 1 win over the players he will be replacing, at worst he could cost us several with that wet noodle he calls an arm. He will be a bust, he’ll have no power and will not get on base enough. Look at his stats from last year, his OBP dropped through the floor when he was away from New York and the threat of the long ball was taken away. Stupid Stupid Stupid deal, I am rapidly losing faith in our front office.

  24. I hope you’re right.

  25. Uh, Tim? You’re right, Damon’s OBP in 2009 was lower on the road than it was in the New Yankee Stadium. The numbers were .382 at home, .349 on the road. Granderson’s splits were .307 at home, .345 on the road. Not sure what Grandy’s problems were with getting on base at Comerica, but let’s give Johnny Damon credit, he can get his butt on base, and has had an overall higher OBP than Granderson in 3 out of Grandy’s 4 full seasons.

  26. Swampy, if memory serves, Granderson (as well as a couple of other Tigers) kind of fell of in in the second half of the 2009 season, this might account for his numbers looking the way they did.

  27. Pingback: Monday Links – USA Takes Down Canada in Olympic Hockey, Tigers Sign Johnny Damon, & The Russian Mob Taking Over the NBA | Detroit 4 Lyfe

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