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 ...
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 illustration / By Larry Johnson
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.
The idiot wears pinstripes.
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.
How about Idiot's Delight?
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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!
SOX BLOGGERS SOUND OFF
A sampling of what Red Sox bloggers are writing today ...
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
-- Yanksfan vs. Soxfan