Saturday, January 30, 2010

Damon shouldn't drag Jeter into dispute

Unlike most baseball players, Johnny Damon has been quite visible during his free agency, granting numerous interviews to local reporters. He was at it again yesterday, telling the WFAN's Mike Francesa that he hopes New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter doesn't have to go through the same hell that he has when the Captain hits free agency in November.

"Hopefully, this doesn't happen with Derek next year," he said. "I say there's no way Derek can go anywhere else. I hope he's not offered a 40-45% pay cut."

This is the second time Damon's camp has brought up Jeter during the negotiations. The first time, agent Scott Boras compared Damon's stats to Jeter and said he deserved a three or four-year extension to keep batting behind the Captain. Now I like Damon, but he is no Derek Jeter and neither he nor his agent should be mentioning Jeter at all.

Damon said he wanted to stay with the Yankees for two more years because the team had a great chance to return to the playoffs and he wanted to see Jeter get 3,000 hits. "No Yankee has ever done that," he said. "I thought that would be pretty cool."

The now former Yankee outfielder claims he has no hard feelings toward the team, blaming the luxury tax situation for much of the trouble negotiating an extension. But he obviously is unhappy with the way things played out, particularly with the Yankees portrayal of him and Boras overreaching with his salary demands.
"The book closed on Johnny a long time ago," Brian Cashman bluntly said Thursday during an interview on the Yankees Hot Stove show before adding that Damon sought a deal comparable to his last contract when he was four years younger playing a premium position (center field).

Damon is hopeful for a Yankee return. "I love New York," he said. "I never say never." But that seems unlikely after such a bitter split.

Thanks to Googie man via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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