Johnny Damon Makes Plea To Yankees: Let Me Fill In!
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Johnny Damon really, really wants to wear the pinstripes again — even if just for six weeks or so.
Damon said in a radio interview Monday that he’d play for peanuts and then go on his “merry way” once outfielder Curtis Granderson returns from a a fractured forearm.
He then reiterated his stance to the New York Post.
“I would play for the minimum for six weeks,” Damon told the paper. “If Granderson returns, I would leave. If there’s no room for me, I’m gone.”
Granderson is expected to return in early May. The slugger broke his arm when he was hit by a pitch from Toronto’s J.A. Happ on Sunday in his first spring at-bat.
The 39-year-old Damon played for the Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians in three seasons since leaving New York. The unsigned veteran said he’s not exactly expecting a call from the Yankees.
“I don’t think [they] will,” Damon told the Post. “They’ve had plenty of opportunities since 2009, and it hasn’t happened. But if they call, I’m ready to go.”
A reunion seems unlikely for Damon, who hit .222 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 64 games last season for Clevelend.
“We are focusing on what we have in camp right now,” general manager Brian Cashman told the Post.
Two possible fill-ins for Granderson are already in camp — Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera.
“We’ve talked about we’re probably not going to hit as many home runs as we did last year,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Monday. “We have more speed, so the guy that fills in is going to be another speed guy, and you score runs more that way. We’re going to have to rely on our speed more, no doubt about it. How this guy, whoever he is, fits in, we’ll have to see. we really don’t know.”
Should the Yanks make that call to Damon? Be heard in the comments!