Gen X at 40

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Not quite the same without the Curse, is it?

portland -

fuck. piss. shit.

Alan -

I am getting a hair cut.

portland -

sorry. that was beneath even me. get it off would ya please. i know you're all powerful here and i'd appreciate that. and i'll get a haircut too. this is like yaz going in the prime of his career. i've never felt so betrayed and usually i'm cool with this sort of thing, baseball being a business and all. business my ass this time though, damon is a traitor. he was our idiot king. he was beloved by the nation. i'm just out of words to describe this one.

portland -

omg, i agree with shaunessy!

SayNay? -

Sounds like Damon had an opinion on his value, that wasn't shared by the Sox. A matter of "respect"?

portland -

only way i'll feel better today is if yanks sign kevin millar too.

Glyn (Zaphod) Evans -

Oh my god. I play center field on ym team, and if I had to pick a hero, it used to be Johnny Damon. I won't get a hair cut, but I also won't cheer for him any more.

Damn sell-out.

GR -

Kinda like when the Bruins traded Joe Thornton last month.....Boston sports: always ready to shoot itself in the foot. That's the real curse. Portland: I notice your excitable remarks are still there. Next time try: fork! pish! shoot! maybe golly, darn, son of a witch.
A person understandably gets angry and uncensored when referring to the Yanks. (if it had been Cleveland or some other team, would we be as mad?)

Alan -

The lowest of it is he did not have the decency to ask Boston to make a matching offer.

Nils -

Baseball. A million words used to portray the poetry, the elegance, the ethereal delights of that magical game played on the emerald chessboard. And then we shake our heads and realize it ain't show ART, it's show BUSINESS.

Alan -

No, it is both.

Nils -

One other thought (and I'm a Sox fan, at least in the context of not caring too too deeply about baseball): I'm not happy about Damon leaving, and less happy about him going to the Yankees ... but I'm not so quick to lay it all on him and absolve BoSox management of their responsibilities here.

The BoSox knew they would have to pay him more - a lot more - to keep him in Boston. They knew other teams were interested, but with all their various General Managers, more time seemed to be spent preparing for him to leave than coming up with what it would take to get him to stay. All well and good to prepare for the worst; but somewhere along the way you need to spend the requisite time and effort trying to achieve the best. Cashman did; the BoSox didn't.

I want my heroes to be loyal, but even the most rabid fan can do the math - the gap was $3 million a year. Cashman saw it as his responsibility to come up with the offer; the BoSox management seemed prepared to let him do the work and expect Damon to dutifully come to them and say "Here's what this other team thinks I'm worth - is this OK for you guys?"

The Yanks wanted the best leadoff man and one of the best centre fielders in baseball. The BoSox wanted a courier. Damon wanted someone who understood what he was and what he could bring to the team that signed him.

Market value in professional sport is like market value anywhere else: you are worth precisely what someone is willing to pay - not a penny more nor a penny less. The New York Yankees, whose pockets are admittedly deep but not THAT much deeper than Boston's, decided Johnny Damon's market value was much higher than the BoSox believed, and they agreed to pay it.

If the Yankees are wrong about Damon's market value, their fans will let them know. If the BoSox were wrong, their fans should let them know, too. As for Damon, his job is not to set the value - he can only accept the best offer and do his damndest to make his new employer look smarter than his old one.

Right now, from where I sit, that shouldn't be too hard.

Phil -

We feel more betrayed because it's the Yankees.

We feel betrayed because the issue was only amount of money--no longer the length of contract. Why didn't he give Boston a chance to match?

We feel helpless because the Idiot spirit is gone--will we revert to the joyless Sox of yore?

It's the goddamned Yankees!

GR -

BoSox management wouldn't up his pay because they want to finance a hot new off Broadway musical....

The Bruins are forked, the Red Sox took apart a world series team setting themselves back 90 years, so I say: God Bless the NE Patriots: keeping the fun and professionalism in Boston sports!

Nils -

Again ... Yanks or not, it's not Johnny Damon's job to ferry back and forth between teams that ought to know his value, telling them their business.

The BoSox management(s) didn't make an offer off the top(s) of their head(s); that's a lot of dough they put on the table, so obviously they thought about it long and hard and came up with a number that represented what they saw as "Johnny Damon's value to a baseball team". The New York Yankees manager thought long and hard, and then said "No - THIS is Johnny Damon's value to a baseball team". And because they are prepared to pay that, they are exactly right and the BoSox management was exactly wrong.

I'm guessing no General Manager in baseball would appreciate a player bounding into his office and saying "Hey, your marketing sucks. And the team uniforms? They're ugly. Oh, and why on earth are you putting the team up in the TraveLodge when there's a Hilton just down the street for five bucks less a night? And come on, how many comps are you giving to your corporate buddies for the games? Oh, and the players' wives just HATE the section you have them seated in. Move them to just behind home plate."

If a player did that, or even more to the point, stormed in and said "I cannot frigging believe you just got a burn-out right hander and are paying him $9 million a year, what are you, nuts?", that player would be told "Hey! Shut the hell up and go play baseball. Don't tell us how to do our job. WE run the team, not you, dickhead."

So now, when Johnny Damon's value is clearly underestimated by his team, he is supposed to go in and tell them their mistake, do their job for them?

If they underestimated Johnny Damon's value, it's on them, not him. They were told for months that there was a gap between what he believed was his value and what they believed it to be. He didn't SET that value - the market did. The BoSox had ample opportunity to recognize the market forces that were at work and to adjust their offer by less than they would pay a platoon substitute, and decided the value wasn't there.

It was a grievous error, and grievously will they suffer for it. And somewhere, a guy named Theo is going "Yeah, Johnny - recognizing value isn't something the BoSox do very well."

Alan -

I dunno. I think there is a plan to get rid of the Idiots and create a team based around pure skill. There was no way JD was going to be offered more than Jason V. I fully expect Manny to now go if a deal of any sort is possible.

Nils -

I admire anyone who can discern a plan in the BoSox off-season. I'm not getting waves of "intelligent design" out of all this. But hope, she does spring eternal.

Alan -

And I know that it so springs because there are Kansas City Royals fans out there.

ry -

a) TOld you the focus should have been on keeping Damon instead of Manny.
b) What did you expect? Loyalty out of Damon? Damon bailed out of a championship/WS caliber team when he came to the BoSox(remember, he ditched the A's to go to Boston, and more money.). Payback's a sith. Nobody can win a bidding war with the Yankees, and now you guys know what Oakland has gone thru for 20 years(get a good guy and he bails when someone throws some cash under his nose), and you guys had some help in that heart ache.
c) Behind the eightball now. Pierre ain't on the market no more. Better find a high obp guy, and fast, or you'll see your offense in the crapper.
d) This still doesn't come close to the heartache caused in 1986 by Dave Parker.

ALan -

...or even by Ray Parker Jr. back then.

dan -

johnny damon is a big fat traitior who went to the yankees for more money i have no respect for him anymore, traitior. george steinbrenner picks his nose and eats his own boggers.

Alan -

You speak for us.

Nils -

Steinbrenner eats bloggers? Do they taste like chicken?