In the end, we want to be entertained, don’t we?
Who knows whether the Red Sox will catch the Rays for the wild-card spot? But for a few hours yesterday there was some excitement among the players, the media, and the fans. The Tigers put outfielder Johnny Damon on waivers, the Red Sox claimed him, and the first impression of many was, “Hey, this could be fun.’’
The magic of the Sox’ world champion Idiots of 2004 never will be recreated, but Damon was fun and he still is. He’s also had some excellent seasons after the Sox decided they’d rather have Coco Crisp. Damon spent four very good years with the Yankees, winning another title last season, and these days he’s trying to reach 3,000 hits (he has 2,538) and possibly earn enshrinement in Cooperstown.
The 36-year-old was deciding yesterday whether to return to the Sox; the teams have 48 hours to work out a deal. And after he went 2 for 4 with an RBI in a 12-2 victory over Kansas City, he said he was leaning toward staying with the Tigers. “My gut and everything else tells me Detroit’s the place for me,’’ he told reporters. He said he’d talk to team president Dave Dombrowski before making his decision.
“He’s a special player,’’ said Sox catcher Jason Varitek, an ex-Damon teammate. “He’s pushing Hall of Fame-type numbers. And you add that Johnny’s great in the clubhouse, he’s a gamer on the field, and one hell of a teammate.’’
“It would be a nice opportunity,’’ Varitek added. “But we’ll let him do what he needs to do. Johnny, aside from being a great player, he makes athletic adjustments offensively. He plays hurt, he doesn’t always play at 100 percent. So much of it is how he plays the game. He plays the game right. It pushes the energy.