| | Another Mistake by the Red Sox
It is getting to be commonplace again that the Boston Red Sox will make mistakes. Ever since not giving former general manager Theo Epstein a decent contract, the Red Sox are a mess. The latest public relations disaster is the defection of Johnny Damon to the hated New York Yankees.
I am not a huge fan of Damon, but he definitely was a leader and a main cog with Boston. Damon has strengths and weaknesses. He is an excellent hitter, a good fielder, and a good clubhouse influence. He does not, however, walk very often and has limited power. The Yankees though got him for a reasonable price. They didnít pay Carlos Beltran ridiculous money. They only paid for four years at a fair market price. Would this have happened under Theo Epstein? No way.
Boston was said to have made a $40 million, four-year offer to Damon during baseball's winter meetings two weeks ago. Team President Larry Lucchino said the team gave Damon until Christmas to accept "I think it's fair to say that we left the door ajar for a subsequent formal offer," Lucchino said. "We wanted to sign Johnny Damon. We made a very strong and concerted effort to do so. We're disappointed." Damon, who turned 32 last month, led Boston with a .316 batting average last season. He had 197 hits and scored 117 runs.
"He was an offensive force," Lucchino said. "He was a clubhouse leader ... and just a generally good guy. We will miss him."
The bottom line is they didnít have to. Epstein would have had this deal done months ago and Damon would still be with Boston. It comes down to Damon getting no respect from the Boston front office just as they gave Epstein no respect. It is not so much that Damon signed with the Yankees, it is that the Red Sox lost him, and lost him for trivial money.