Monday, March 29, 2010

Damon wise to try to mend fences with Yanks

In a classy gesture by New York Yankees fans, the crowd at Steinbrenner Field yesterday gave Johnny Damon a lengthy standing ovation in his first at-bat for the visiting Detroit Tigers. It was a tremendous sign of appreciation and affection for Damon, who many fans never wanted to leave the team. Damon was truly touched by the ovation, smiling and waving back to the crowd and tapping his hand to his heart in obvious gratitude to the fans and to his former teammate Damaso Marte, who stepped off the mound to let him enjoy the moment a little longer.

But for Damon, the most important moment probably came before the game when he had a chance to chat with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, with the two men sharing an apparently pleasant conversation and quick hug.

Regardless of whether Damon blames the Yankees or his agent Scott Boras for not being in pinstripes, it's a smart move on his part to try to mend fences with the team. Several times after Damon signed with Detroit, he mentioned that if the Yanks needed a guy down the stretch, he could be that guy. As much as he might like playing for Jimmy Leyland, Damon clearly left his heart in New York. And the only way he could return to the Bronx Bombers is if he figured out a way to patch things up.

Cashman has always been of the mindset that he will go after any player who can help the team and he doesn't seem like he holds grudges so I can see him being open to a Damon reunion if the circumstances warrant it. But it would have to be on his terms. And Damon making nice with Cashman is a good way to signal that he's ready to do it the GM's way.

Will Damon ever wear pinstripes again? Unlikely, but stranger things have happened in baseball.

Thanks to Ken N and Mattingly23 via Wikipedia for the photo.

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