Friday, December 30, 2005

Johnny's Departure...The Fans Comment.

Jere's stance that Johnny Damon will get little respect in New York because of his Sox background was the exact subject of 2 letters to the editor here in Hartford. Here they are, Jere, and my scores (yeah right) of other readers...."As a lifelong Yankee fan and Connecticut resident, I disagree with the Dec. 22 Courant editorial that claims the Johnny Damon trade caused scarcely a ripple here in this New York/Boston-divided state.

When I read of the trade, my heart sank as I envisioned this "self-proclaimed `idiot'" in the same pinstripes worn by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The thought of Damon patrolling the centerfield graced by Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Bernie Williams makes my hair stand on end.
Dismayed? Yes. Surprised? No.
Just as priests yearn to be bishop and politicians dream of the White House, so do Major League Baseball players long to don the pinstripes and call Yankee Stadium home.
Johnny Damon will have to do much more than clean up his appearance to earn the respect of Yankee fans. Love them or hate them, the New York Yankees represent to the world the best of the sport. Just consult the record books."

Noël K. Higgins
"For all his talk about hometown discounts or never playing for the Yankees, Johnny Damon committed the sports equivalent of treason.
Make no mistake about it. This is disloyalty. And why? Because Johnny Damon is interested in only one thing - promoting Johnny Damon.
This is why he left Oakland and the media basement of playing on the West Coast. This is why he came to Boston; to be a part of one of the elite franchises in baseball. And this is why he is a Yankee now, and in so doing, turned down a five-year deal so that he can become a free agent again at age 36 instead of 37. He's probably already thinking of the next cap he will wear in 2010.
Except that now, Damon will never match the idol status he cherished in Boston because even if he could grow hair down to his wallet, he will always be third fiddle behind Derek Jeter and A-Rod. As big as Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are with the Red Sox, neither matched the cult-figure persona of Damon.
Damon will get endorsements in New York, but not like the kind he would have received in Boston. Who would you rather hear promote a product, Manny or Damon? As a promoter, who would you rather hire for an ad, Derek or Johnny? How many cups of coffee or books do you think Johnny will sell in New York?
No matter how the media in New York or Boston portray this, the bottom line is that Damon left the Red Sox for the enemy because the enemy offered more money. He will be booed upon each return he makes to Fenway, just as he is booed in Kansas City and Oakland, and deservedly so."

James M. Conderino
**** This is me again, dear readers. I'd love to hear your comments. And have a Happy New Year, although I shall be back before then.


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