On my way to run five miles (or so) in the rain last night I caught some sports radio on the drive over to the track. It was about five o’clock when the announcement came out of Detroit that Johnny Damon had nixed the trade to the Red Sox. “I’m not going,” he told reporters. “I love Detroit.”
That wasn’t all he said. He kept going making sure that he and Boston will never be reunited.
“What we had in Boston — I stress had, from 2002 to 2005 — we had a special bunch of guys,” Damon said. “And after the 2004 season, guys started leaving. And in 2005, how (Mark) Bellhorn left, how Alan Embree left, how Kevin Millar was being treated there. That’s something that sticks with you. It was a totally new team.”
“I know they have a very good team, possibly the best rotation around. They inched a game closer today. (Jason) Varitek knows what I brought to the table night in and night out. (David) Ortiz does, and (Tim) Wakefield. So obviously I know they want me. But I love it here in Detroit, and I love my teammates here.”
But you know what? He’s right.
I’m not saying that a washed up Alan Embree or a Kevin Millar that couldn’t hit a curve ball were the keys to another championship but Theo’s obsession with getting the team to a no personality team apparently was more important than how players leaving were treated. Sure Pedroia and Youk show up to the park every night and give 100% but there isn’t the personality of those 2003 and 2004 clubs.
Instead we get the JD Drew Red Sox. Show up, do your job, go home. Rarely do you get a decent soundbite from the clubhouse. In fact Ortiz is really the last personality left in the clubhouse and he’s likely gone after this season.
So I’m guessing the Sox are pretty much done with attempting to improve their team. They’ll head down to Tampa this weekend and get swept following a double header today and a day off tomorrow. That should mathematically put them out of contention and possibly make the waiver wire sellers. We’ll have to wait and see.
Pats tomorrow night. Whoo hoo!