Apparently Johnny Damon is more concerned with competing for a losing team than getting into a playoff race. Damon rejected a return to Boston based on Detroit manager Jim Leyland telling him that he would keep playing. At least that is what he says. But I think, and a lot of people think, Damon turned the move down because of the greeting he got at Fenway when he returned in a Yankee uniform.
If you remember, after Damon said he'd never play for the Yankees and he wasn't in it for the money...he went to the Yankees for the money. Even that fat bastard Clemens had the decency to go to Toronto first. And Boggs leaving for the Yankees was kind of a mutual agreement. Yeah, we hated seeing him ride that damn horse in Yankee Stadium, but Boston fans weren't gnashing their teeth when he left. And if I remember correctly, he didn't get a bad response upon his return the next year.
But Damon played up all the things Boston fans wanted to hear and then did the exact opposite. How did guys like Shaughnessy think Boston fans would react? Yes, he busted his ass for the Sox when he played here. And then he spit in the collective eye of the Boston fanbase. Every writer short of Eric Wilbur seems to forget that Damon said, repeatedly, that he wouldn't ever play for the Yankees. That carries currency with the Boston fanbase. And when Damon turned on that...well, what exactly did he think would be the result?
And so he was booed. Told he looks like Judas and throws like Mary. And because of that, the fragile snowflake couldn't suck it up and come back to Boston for a playoff chase. Players throughout baseball history have dealt with much more vicious behavior from fans. How many black ballplayers were slandered and verbally assaulted by their own fans and teammates back in the 40s and 50s and not only persevered but flourished? Damon apparently wouldn't have lasted the front half of a day-night doubleheader back then.
At least Boston blocked him from going to Tampa or New York. And considering Damon's behavior...I'm kind of enjoying that side benefit.