A similar refrain from Johnny Damon
Last season at this point, it was fair to wonder what Johnny Damon’s future held. This was the month that the Yankees decided to bump Damon out of center field in favor of Melky Cabrera, who was clearly outplaying Damon in every facet of the game and made an immediate impact, especially on defense. (Remember the chants of “Energy! Energy!” after the Wild Card clinching in St. Petersburg? That was all about Melky.)
Not too many people talked about it, but privately Damon wondered if there was even any future for him in New York. He wasn’t even at the halfway point of a four-year contract he’d signed to play center field for the Yankees, and already he’d been pushed aside like a spare part. Damon was assured by the front office that they indeed did want him as a Yankee, and that seemed to satisfy his concerns. He had a pretty good season by the end of it.
Why bring this all up? What it gives you is a fairly accurate glimpse into how proud a player Damon is. He knows that the Yankees probably aren’t the last team he’ll play for in his big league career, and that’s fine — from Kansas City to Oakland to Boston to New York, there’s been change.
But Damon still hopes people look to him as the sparkplug that makes the Yankees go.
“I consider myself a pretty good player in this league, and I don’t want people to forget about me,” he said after Saturday’s game.
Hey, and if you have 30 minutes to kill, check out Yankees On Deck in a repeat airing Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET on YES. I’ll be checking in helping show a young cub reporter what it’s like to cover the Yankees.