In a recent interview, Johnny Damon bared his baseball soul, providing interesting descriptions of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
Johnny Damon fondly remembers his days with the Boston Red Sox, but he has a truly special place in his heart for the New York Yankees. It’s the kind of spot where a divorcee keeps lingering emotions for his ex-wife barely tucked away.
Damon made that exact relationship analogy in an interview on the “Break a Bat” podcast, as reported by the New York Post’s Justin Tasch:
“I tell people Boston is like an ex-girlfriend where you wish them well and you loved being a part of it, but you know what, you move on, your life gets great, you marry your trophy wife and you have six more kids. That’s what New York was for me.”
The 46-year-old played for the Red Sox from 2002 to 2005, slashing .295/.362/.441. Both of his MLB All-Star appearances came while he was in Beantown.
In the 2005 offseason, Damon signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Yankees. He put up a .285/.363/.458 line in pinstripes.
After helping the Bombers to a World Series title in 2009, the team chose not to re-sign him.
According to Damon, that choice is a major reason the Yankees have since put together a rare decade devoid of a championship. He also mentioned fellow outfielder Hideki Matsui’s exit from the Bronx as equally detrimental:
“I knew why they couldn’t get it done. I wasn’t there,” Damon said, per Tasch. “Matsui wasn’t there. At least one of us should’ve been there. You just had a different feel for them.”
Damon clarified, saying that he and Matsui, both lefty swingers, brought lineup stability that was unmatched by their successors.
That evaluation may be correct. Of course, it could also be merely the bitter denouncements of a jilted lover.