December 23, 2005

An Aging Johnny Damon Is Not Equal To An In-His-Prime Babe Ruth

There's a scoop, eh?

Jimmy Damon, Johnny's dad:
Mark it down: It's going to be another Babe Ruth. They sent Johnny off just like they sent off Babe Ruth. It's going to be another big, big mistake. They made the biggest mistake of their lives.
Wow. What do you say to such astounding ignorance? If you're me, you laugh until your sides ache.

So Damon is going to perform like Ruth (who was sold, and was not a free agent, by the way) did in 1920 and 1921? ... I promise to live out the rest of my days as Mr. Damon's slave if that happens.

New York Post columnist Joel Sherman states:
The Yanks very well may become a 1,000-run team in 2006.
The Yankees scored 886 runs in 2005. Their various center fielders scored 68 runs. 886 minus 68 = 818.

Sherman would have us believe (assuming all Yankees perform at their 2005 levels) that Damon will score 182 runs next year. That would shatter Babe Ruth's modern record of 177, set in 1921. ... Highly unlikely.

Finally, Bob Ryan wrote this in yesterday's Globe:
Johnny Damon is a frustrating, annoying hitter who runs up pitch counts. If he's not No. 1 in the league in most pitches per at-bat, he's very high in the pecking order.
Since his column is so full of other stats, I'm surprised Ryan didn't take the thirty seconds necessary to verify this claim. Perhaps he did -- and went ahead with it anyway.

In the AL last year, Damon ranked 45th in pitches per at-bat. That is not #1 -- and it is not high in the pecking order. (P.S.: Varitek, Manny and Ortiz were all in the Top 13.)


Jack Marshall said...

Oh, Dad thinks I'm special too.

Damon may be annoying at bat, but he sure doesn't draw a lot of BBs for a lead-off hitter.If Ryan is so fond of pitches per at bat, he must have loved Mark Bellhorn!

We should remember that almost all of NY's recent raids on Sox players or those the Sox coveted have ended badly for the pinstripers. They took Williams away at the last minute, overpaid, and the Sox ended up with Damon in center. Now, after the Sox "have eaten the juiciest part of the watermelon" (Bill James' great analogy for the folly of buying over-30 stars), the Yankees finally have Damon...too late, I'm betting. The Yankees signed ARod and the Sox won the World Series without a regular shortstop all year. The Yankees signed Contreras, causing much hair-tearing on Yawkey Way, and he was not only a bust, he was a bust that the Sox clobbered. The Yankees overpaid for Mussina when the Sox wanted him...and Moose has been a major disappointment (he's never won 20 despite great support, and is a gutless, selfish pitcher), and the Sox used the money they saved to buy Manny. Remember the shock when Pavano chose NY over Boston? Now THAT worked out well!

Don't bet against the Damon move boomeranging on the Yankees as well.

Cathryn said...

I about wet myself laughing when I saw the back page of the NY Daily news yesterday. "Curse of the Dambino." Pure sleazy tabloid brilliance.

mouse said...

Andrew and Zach over at Firebrand both have really good articles about Damon and his questionable value to the Yankees. The more I read from the stat heads and the rational thinkers, the better I feel. And the more I think I'll be pointing and laughing at all the beat writers for their lunacy over this signing as soon as next year, rather than three years from now.

Topping Babe Ruth? My God...I think I just split my side open! That has to be THE most ridiculous thing anyone has said about Johnny since he signed with the Yankees!

The Yankees can't win chmpionships this way. Next year, every one of their starting position players except Robinson Cano will be over 30. I wouldn't worry too much about A-Rod and Jeter declining anytime soon, but what about everyone else?

redsock said...

I would take 32-year-old Babe over Damon at any stage of his career.

Ruth was 32 years old in 1927. He hit .356/.486/.772 with 60 HR, 164 RBI, 417 total bases.

Hell, at age 37, Babe hit .341/.489/.661.

DanM said...

Fans, fans why are we talking about the Yuckees here?? The Red Sox are our love! And now stepping up to the microphone is Abbott and Costello and the conversation starts ...

Who's on first?

redsock said...

As of today -- Youkilis?

Anonymous said...

I'm betting the Yankee reaction was "Oh shit!" after they signed Damon. I think they were trying to raise the Red Sox price for him, and it backfired. Sure, for one year, maybe two, he'll hit ok, but fielding in that big center field?

DanM said...

Hey RedSock, you know I cannot resist the natural follow-on: Youkilis? Third base?