Curse of Johnny Damon - not A-Rod - has Yankees doomed for a long time, much like Ryder Cup
Much to the dismay of the New York media and fans, A-Rod, the popular scapegoat in the Big Apple, didn’t lose the series for the Yankees vs. the Detroit Tigers. He could have put up Derek Jeter-like numbers and the Yankees still go home early, the games are just a little closer.
The problem with the Yankees is two-fold: washed-up pitching and the Curse of Johnny Damon.
Maybe it isn’t so much a “curse” as it is a “virus". While I admit I had a minor man crush on Damon during the 2004 Red Sox run, his defection to the Yankees gutted all schoolyard passion out of a team desperately in search of a rekindled hunger to win the Big One.
But when Johnny Damon jumped the fence last summer without even giving the Red Sox much of a chance to match the Yankees’ offer sheet, ruining one of sports’ most intense rivalries and proved that a Major Leaguer doesn’t bleed for their team or their city but simply for money, he brought a souless heart to the Yankees and it’s spread like wildfire.
Cut to the 7th inning last night. Down big in an elimination game, Damon was shown in the dugout laughing. On several called strikes, he had stepped out of the batters box to reset almost before the ball had hit Pudge’s glove. Countless other times he had a smirk on his face, and frankly it looked like he could care less about the outcome of the season.
No matter what happens as a Yankee, he has his legacy: a key player in the greatest comeback in sports history against these very pinstripes, and now he’s just along for the ride collecting those greenbacks and sipping martinis in designer studio bars in SoHo between games.
Damon is spreading a lacksadasical demeanor and an assumption the Yankees should win simply because they’re annointed as baseball’s Dream Team. So long as he’s around, the Yankees won’t win anything. With Toronto rebuilding and numerous questions facing the Yankees this off season, I wouldn’t even pick them to make the playoffs next season.
Detroit’s Ivan Rodriguez, who was the foundation of Detroit’s resurgence, is already a lock for Cooperstown and is on the downswing of his career, but that doesn’t stop him from exuding a contagious passion in every thing he does, from calling incredible games behind the plate to getting clutch hits when they matter most.
The Tigers on the other hand have a handful of stars (Pudge, Ordonez, Guillen, Rogers) mixed in with hot young talent and a grizzly skipper in Jim Leyland. Sounds a lot like Sergio and Co. over in Europe.
The American Ryder Cup team is in the same predicament as the Bronx Bombers. They’ve got the same level of talent as the Europeans, just don’t know how to put it together in team play, assuredly due to a lack of killer instinct.
But as I’ve said before, I’m not so sure the Ryder Cup should really matter to them, being an archaic format that caters to European-style play and is sandwiched between other big-time events most players have bigger stakes in, much to the dismay of many fans.
But if Damon and the Yankees can’t get up to win the World Series, what else is there to play for?
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That's what you get for not having a mind of your own, Johnny - and falling into your sophomoric "playah jock" life instead of staying real. Good luck with your cleavaged cleat chaser too.