Thursday, December 22, 2005

King Idiot Is Also a Traitor

Sure, I’d cut my hair and shave my beard (if I had one) for $52 million bucks. But to join who? Not the Yankees. That’s all it took for one of the leaders of ‘Idiots’ from Boston to leave them in the rearview mirror and sign with the hated Yankees. Johnny Damon has become yet another villain of the Red Sox Nation, just like Bucky F’n Dent and Aaron F’n Boone. Something tells me we might hear a similar middle name for the once beloved leadoff hitter from Beantown.

We’ll never know if the Sox could’ve resigned Damon now. A thought that was once inconceivable is now staring us all right in the face. Johnny Damon will bat leadoff and play centerfield for the 2006 New York Yankees. It was difficult for me to type that because I was so sure that Damon would never go against his own words. It was early in the 2005 season (less than 8 months ago) that Damon was quoted as saying, “I want to stay here…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.”

Like Kush’s father in Jerry Maguire, Damon’s words weren’t “stronger than Oak.” In fact his words now seem more like the ‘Wonder Boy’ bat that Roy Hobbs used…broken. And like that bat, it can never be fixed.

The thing that surprises me the most is that Johnny Damon was just another pretty good leadoff hitter before he signed with Boston before the 2002 season. He had short hair and was sans the facial hair. But once the hair started flowing and the team started winning, he became somewhat of a cult figure. Sox fans became indeared to the ‘Idiots’ and Johnny Damon seemed to be fueled by their passion. It was Damon who couldn’t buy a base in the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees until that fateful night of October 20th at Yankee Stadium. Just 4 for 30 in the series Damon came to the plate and took the first stab at the Yankees when he hit a granslam in the 2nd inning to put the Sox up 6-0. He followed that with an even farther shot (and stab) in the top of the 4th inning, a two-run upper-deck shot that made it 8-1. Damon and the BoSox pulled off the greatest comeback in sports history. All to the hated Yanks, the team that they had brawled with in the ALCS the year before and had an even uglier fight with in July of that same year. Johnny Damon and the Sox were kings of the world.

But all of those loving feelings changed in hours earlier this week, when Yankees GM Brian Cashman gave Damon’s agent Scott Boras a final deadline to accept or reject the Yanks final four-year contract offer. Damon and Boras accepted it – without even going back to the Red Sox to see if they might try to resign him.

He should be a villain now. He should be hated with every breath that the fans of New England have. He left them in the batter’s box and went to bat for the hated Yankees. Shorthair and clean-shaven he’ll be…and never an icon like he would’ve continued to be in Boston. In New York he’ll take a back seat to Jeter, A-Rod, Rivera, Steinbrenner, Giambi, Bernie, The Unit, Torre and even Matsui. He’s just another guy that ditched a good thing and went for more money and the Yankees. Disgusting.

And I ask the Red Sox Nation one last time…”What would Johnny Damon do?”
The answer is simple. He'll leave you like he never knew you.

4 Comments:

At 12/22/2005 5:07 PM, Blogger P V R said...

Not to be cynical, but this is more proof that there is very little loyalty left anywhere these days. Most people just don't care about having a legacy or the fact that they are breaking a million little kids hearts for some extra dough that they really don't need.

 
At 12/22/2005 5:16 PM, Blogger J-Mazz said...

My thoughts on the situation can be found at http://nosalestax.blogspot.com/2005/12/you-dont-want-us-we-dont-want-you.html.

As a Sox fan, I can only hope the Yankees made another Bernie-esque deal and will find themselves strapped w/ another aging centerfielder who's swallowing cap space.

Oh wait, there is no salary cap in MLB. Great work, Bud Selig. This whole luxury tax plan is really leveling the playing field. What next, contraction for the Marlins and giving the Yankees first pick of the roster?

Yes, as a Sox fan I understand we're not innocent, either, but perhaps we pay the big bucks simply to keep up w/ our hated rival.

Save Bronson Arroyo!

 
At 12/23/2005 11:11 AM, Anonymous bosox fan said...

I was upset to learn that Johnny didn't get cut when they shaved him - I once loved him, now I loathe him

 
At 12/23/2005 11:12 AM, Anonymous bosox fan said...

I was upset to learn that Johnny didn't get cut when they shaved him - I once loved him, now I loathe him

 

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