(Image from Lenny's Yankees)
At first the Johnny Damon/Scott Boras ridiculous contract demands was kinda humorous. But now, nobody is laughing anymore....
4 years ago.... when Damon was 4 years younger, the tactics that Boras and Damon used was effective. At that time Damon was still at his prime at the age of 32. Damon was a lot faster and better. He was one of the best lead-off hitter in the league.
Because of that almost every team wants to sign the speedy Damon. Even the Boston Red Sox (Damon's former team) made an offer to Damon. But in the end it's the Yankee empire that won the bidding, signing Damon for 4 years at $ 13 million annually.
But that was 4 years ago or should I say... centuries ago. Today Damon is older, slower, and is more likely to have more injuries.
Both Boras and Damon should be "aware" that they are aiming for the stars ($ 13 million annually), and it seems to be a distant possibility. Even the Yankees (considered as the wealthiest organization in baseball) can't afford the salary that Damon/Boras is asking.
And as the day progresses and spring coming soon, Damon was still playing "hard to get". Each and every team that were interested in signing Damon went to their plan B's and signed a player that were more affordable.
It was only the Yankees who have a deep interest in bringing back Damon. In fact the Yankees waited too long that they lost the chance of signing other free agents like Hideki Matsui, Jerry Hairston Jr., etc.
I thought that Damon's story is going to be like Bobby Abreu of 2008 where Abreu took a massive pay-cut with the Angels just before the Spring training. But still Damon remained "high and mighty" and still refuse to take a pay-cut, hoping that someday a team will give him the $ 13 million that he wanted.
Something is definitely wrong with Johnny Damon. It's obvious that Damon screwed up a good thing here by allowing Scott Boras to antagonize the Yankee front office with his contract demands even after GM Brian Cashman's warnings that he wasn't playing games with the agent.
They thought that Yankees would give in to their demands knowing that Steinbrenners have "very deep pockets". I guess the owners are strictly serious with their $ 200 million budget.
With only $ 2 million left on the Yankees budget, Cashman went the distance and offered Damon $ 5 million (higher than their budget). Again Damon played them a fool. So the Yankees closed the chapter on Damon and move on by signing free agent outfielder Randy Winn for just $ 2 million only. That move place the nail in the coffin and put the Damon scenario to rest.... finally.
Damon either let his own ego get in the way of a perfect situation with the Yankees or he paid a price for trusting Boras too much, but in any case he'll miss his old team more than it will miss him. Not only will Damon miss the chance to play with a team that can win again a World Series but Damon will also miss the Yankees Stadium. It is in that stadium that Damon was able to set a career high of 24 home runs in a single season (2006 & 2009).
It's a tough lost for the Yankees but even a "greater" lost for both Damon and Boras. There was once an instance that several baseball people said that they believe Cashman became furious with Boras' negotiating tactics. One person close to the situation said that he once heard the Yankee GM screaming at Boras via his cell phone.Before I thought the Red Sox community was just "bitter" with the situation that Damon went to the rival Yankees for more money. They kept on calling Damon "Idiot", which by definition means a very stupid person.
Now I truly believed what the Red Sox community are implying against Damon. Damon has one of the 7 deadly sins..... greed.
And now it is killing him, until now Damon is still unemployed as we speak.
I hate to point the obvious, but Johnny Damon is truly an "Idiot"!. Unless of course he wise up and swallow his pride and have some dignity left in his character, the name idiot will stick with him forever.....