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Reaction roundup

Posted by David Lefort, Boston.com Staff  December 21, 2005 09:03 AM

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Johnny Damon's defection to the Yankees has left a wave of reaction from all sides -- media and fans alike. We take a spin around the newspapers, web sites, blogs, and message boards, and bring you some highlights below ...

  • Dan Shaughnessy (Boston Globe)

    No way around this one. Johnny Damon is a Yankee and it looks like the Red Sox don't know what they are doing. Time for Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer to say hello to Lou Gorman and Dan Duquette. Looks like John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino finally know what it feels like to be Haywood Sullivan, Buddy LeRoux, and/or John Harrington.

    ESPN.com

    ESPN.com illustration / By Larry Johnson
    While New England slept last night, Damon got into bed with the enemy. Sox officials smugly believed there was no market for their marquee center fielder and the Yankees took advantage of Boston's big sleep.

  • Gordon Edes and Chris Snow (Boston Globe)

    Almost as stunning as Damon's decision to sign with Boston's storied archrival was that the Red Sox did not learn of Damon's decision until they were contacted by reporters last night.

  • Michael Silverman (Boston Herald)

    The idiot wears pinstripes.

  • Tyler Kepner (New York Times)

    The Yankees ... have no major holes. Their off-season work is all but complete, and they have done it at the expense of their rivals.

  • George King (New York Post)

    How about Idiot's Delight?

  • Joel Sherman (New York Post)

    Brian Cashman had recently acknowledged the Yanks had long been the hare in the offseason, rushing with bulging wallet to fulfill their desires. "This year we are the tortoise," Cashman said. Slow and steady landed them Octavio Dotel on a one-year deal and Damon for four years. So it is a big victory for the tortoise.

  • Mike Lupica (New York Daily News)

    The idea that this is some part of prudent financial plan because they wouldn't go to seven years for Damon is pretty funny. Maybe somebody else out there was going to offer more than $50 million for Johnny Damon at this point in his career, but I'd like to know which team that is. It sure wasn't the Red Sox, and they've always liked Damon a lot, considered him a good player and good soldier and terrific guy in the clubhouse.

    So now the Yankees have All-Stars or former All-Stars at every single position on the field except second base. They have players making $10 million or more a year at catcher, first base, shortstop, third base, left field, center field, right field. There is no young free agent center fielder out there. They can't make a trade. So they write another check.

  • Buster Olney (ESPN.com)

    The loss of Damon will be cast against the backdrop of Boston's front office alterations this offseason. Whoever was calling the shots in the last week -- John Henry, or Larry Lucchino, or co-general managers with an advisor whispering in their ears -- the failure to re-sign Damon can't be viewed, within the current market, as anything other than a colossal mistake.

  • Scott Miller (CBS Sportsline.com)

    The only way the Yankees could hurt the Red Sox worse this winter is if they had secretly petitioned the Hall of Fame to change the logo on Ted Williams' plaque to "NY."

    FANS SPEAK OUT

    Some excerpts from our Damon message board thread on Boston.com ...

  • The front office can't even decide who it wants being their leader, let alone who should play center field. I do not think Johnny Damon is worth $13 million per year, but unfortunately what else can we put out there? We need a SS, CF, 1B, possible a LF, a deeper bullpen, and oh yeah a GM. Where will we find any good players to fill these holes with the dwindling market?

    As for you Johnny, WHY? I don't understand how you can bleed Red Sox Baseball for four years and then just like that switch to the pinstripes. Here in Boston, you were loved and adored... I hope you realize your legacy is forever tarnished in our town.
    -- jama81

  • Red Sox fans better wake up. While ownership sucks every last nickel out of you, the Old Towne Team "ain't no more." If John Henry ran his other business this way he never would have had the resources to buy the Red Sox. Given what happened with Theo, Damon, and the whole stench coming out of the executive suite at Fenway, Sox fans should be very careful. All these people know about is money. When we finish third (assuming we hold off Baltimore) you'll see our loyalties were misplaced. Thanks for nothing Messrs. Henry, Lucchino, and Steinberg.
    -- spiritof1918

  • It just gets so tiring hearing the same thing from these athletes who claim they really love playing for a TEAM (city), but then just leave for more $$$. It is always more $$$. It is not the team not stepping up, but the ATHLETE who is not stepping up. No loyalty from DAMON. He claims the Sox did not step up. If you ask me, he is the one that did not step up. We offered him more than he is worth at this stage in his career. Let him go. Let the Yankees keep spending that money. Their attempts to buy another championship have not paid off yet.
    -- antiqueman

  • Once ANY player puts on pinstripes, they are dead to me.
    -- Rock

  • Johnny took the money and that's OK with me. I have to say, I don't think JD was ever a star player. He was a good leadoff hitter, but a very mediocre center fielder.

    He had a strong following of teenage girls and teenage boys. Talk to any serious, adult Sox fan and they will tell you, Johnny Damon was OK, that's it, just OK.

    Personally I think it's time to shake up the Sox. How many games did you watch last season, where everyone just seemed like, yeah whatever? There was no fire anymore. 2004 was an awesome year, and will always be in my eyes. But the Red Sox won the World Series, not Johnny, not Pedro, not Curt, the Red Sox.

    Personally, I'll miss Doug Mirabelli more, at least he was a good person with class. Winning is great, but obviously it's not everything, if it was, the Sox would not be selling out every game. I'm looking forward to spring to see my TEAM play, win or lose, I'll be a Sox fan next year, and the next year and the next year. So goodbye Johnny, Tek, Wake, Trot and Ortiz, I truly look forward to seeing you in April!
    -- Saber

    SOX BLOGGERS SOUND OFF

    A sampling of what Red Sox bloggers are writing today ...

  • I think, when it really boils down to it, the one issue that sticks in my craw is the fact that so many memories about 2004, The Year, The Deliverance, if you will, are awash in Johnny Damon. Because he wouldn't let them not be. True, he did some great things for us. I'm not going to deny that for a second. But when you look at those highlights now, it's probably going to sting just a little bit because of your knowledge that the guy who professed to be "just an idiot" is now clean-shaven and shagging flies for the Other Side. Who knows what's true anymore? I'm bothered by the sheer amount of hype that will spring from this. Johnny Damon is JUST a ballplayer. An integral one, sure, but I'm still more upset about the Theo debacle than I am about this. And I think Theo would have called his bluff too so I'm OK with that.
    -- Basegirl

  • So Johnny Damon has officially defected to the Evil Empire. A four-year, $40 million offer just wasn't enough to get the deal done between Johnny and the Sox. The question I'm left asking -- other than who will bat leadoff and who will play center -- is whether the Sox were caught flat footed and were blind sided by this, or whether they were aware of the Yankees offer and made an organizational decision that four years and $52 million was just too much for Damon's services.

    The Sox knew that the Yankees were interested. Heck, anyone who was paying even modest attention knew that the Yanks would pursue Damon. It was widely reported that Yankee manager Joe Torre called Damon to solicit him last week. As we all know, Torre's boss usually gets what he wants. And once again, he did.
    -- Kennedy's Commentary

  • Thanks, Johnny. First, before everything, thanks. Before we start rooting for you to miss the cutoff man (if you reach him), before we advertise our hope that your speed continues to diminish, before we cheer for your second half production to suffer increasingly as you get older, thanks. You were an iconic player on a team for the ages, and we (and apparently the Sox too) will never be able to re-pay you for your efforts in bringing our beloved team a title. The Yankees will have to do that. When you signed with the Sox initially I told my Dad this was the smartest free agent acquisition of a skilled player the Red Sox had made in many years, including the Manny deal. It was. Thanks for everything you gave to the team.
    -- Yanksfan vs. Soxfan

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