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Johnny Damon would prefer to go into the Hall of Fame as a Royal

Jul 22, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

Johnny Damon Royals

Johnny Damon was on MLB Network yesterday and was asked about the Hall of Fame.  It’s kind of a lose-lose topic for a guy like Damon who, if he ducks or deflects questions about it, he’s not being particularly nice to his host, but if he answers it, he gets people saying stuff like “what, you think you’re going into the Hall of Fame, you delusional so-and-so?”

But answer the questions he did, particularly one about which cap he’d wear if he was, indeed, elected one day (transcript of his answer via Royals Review):

Well, it’s a tough decision… four years in Boston… four years in New York… five and a half years in Kansas City. And if you go by the numbers, that’s where my best years were. So if they’d have me…

Damon’s case for the Hall of Fame on the merits is interesting enough. I don’t think he’s worthy and if he were to retire today I don’t think he makes it. But if he gets to 3,000 hits, it will be time for a very interesting discussion. Let’s save that discussion for another time.

Merits aside, the cap topic is pretty darn interesting too. He was probably — purely on the numbers — a better player in Kansas City than anywhere else, but that’s not what the Hall of Fame looks at. If it was, then Reggie Jackson would be wearing an Athletics’ cap.  It’s more about history and public fascination and all of that, and I bet that if you put 100 casual fans in a room, a tremendously large number of them wouldn’t be able to identify the team on which Damon broke into the bigs.

112 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Because of the lovable idiots, the beard, and the fact that he came into prominence in the national eye with them, I would think he would go into the Hall with a Red Sox cap.

    • djpostl - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      meh, they absolutely spit in his face with that weak ass offer they tossed his way (when you looked at he was in his early 30’s still/productivity/cult status/playoff heroics) so they don’t deserve him wearing their cap.

      • marshmallowsnake - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        I never knew that offering someone millions of dollars to play a game was spitting in his face? Plus, he got the last laugh…and was a hypocrite.

        “”There’s no way I can go play for the Yankees, but I know they’re going to come after me hard. It’s definitely not the most important thing to go out there for the top dollar, which the Yankees are going to offer me. It’s not what I need.”

  2. adowding3 - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    I have to agree. However, something should be said of showing some loyalty to the team that drafted him, groomed him, and then helped him to flourish. In today’s game (aside from No. 2), loyalty seems a forgotten novelty.

    • paperlions - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:43 AM

      Seriously? Playing for the team that will pay you at least 50% more than anyone else represents loyalty? Staying at the top of the lineup because management knows you’ll throw a shitfit if you are moved down to where you belong represents loyalty? Whining about changing positions when you are a below average defensive SS represents loyalty?

      It is the Yankees and their fans that have been loyal to Jeter, not the other way around.

      • stoutfiles - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        Um, this article is about Damon, not Jeter. Don’t worry, there will be another “Jeter shouldnt bat first” article in a day or two.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        PL, lay off the liquor in the morning. It’s really bringing out your Jeter hate. On a post about Damon??????

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        I’m sorry PL, I didn’t see the comment from above mentioning #2.

      • jabberwock3 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        You must understand: Every baseball article is about Jeter and the Yankees, no matter where it started. Fool! Just ask any Yankee fan.

      • djpostl - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        So when was this shitfit that you’re referring to? I don’t recall ever seeing one. I recall writers and ESPN prognosticators talking about it 24/7/365 but I damn sure being an “issue” but I don’t ever recall seeing one that actually happened.

        Ohhhhh, you’re just another one of those people assuming it would happen. Because the rest of his career has been full of such behavior I suppose.

    • stoutfiles - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Loyalty? Damon ran to the Red Sox for a bigger pay day, and then ran to the archival Yankees for another payday. How is that loyal?

      It’s a moot point. If Johnny “Girl Arm” Damon somehow makes the hall, he goes in with the Red Sox as one of the players to help break the curse. KC is out of the question, rarely ever does someone get to choose (Sparky Anderson picking Reds over Tigers).

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        then ran to the team that beat them both 2 of 3 years

      • bobwsc - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM

        KC traded Damon to Oakland – he never showed a lack of loyalty to the Royals. and the notoriously thrifty A’s didn’t come close to offering the going wages so it’s not like he shafted them to go to Boston. he did say that he’d never play for the Yankees and that it wasn’t about money, but he did, and it was, so there’s that.

      • bjules7 - Aug 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

        Loyalty goes both ways..The Redsox Brass stood firm on their offer to a player that was a Redsox hero..bringing them their first WS title in 84 years..and at the same time paid 50 Million just for the rights to talk to Dice K..and then another 50 million to sign him…but couldnt give Damon a lousy 2 mil more !! They spit in his face…so he spit back !! Then the whole Redsox Nation turned against Damon…what a joke.

      • bjules7 - Aug 27, 2011 at 8:47 AM

        And because of that…He will never wear that disgusting Redsox Hat into the HOF !

    • cktai - Jul 24, 2011 at 5:38 AM

      Chipper Jones wears #10 not #2.

  3. The Common Man - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    I’d like to use some kind of throwaway line like “I’d like to go into the Hall as a Twin, but that’s not happening either.”, but I have the fear that this may actually come to pass.

    • tashkalucy - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      If it does then you can thak Peter Gamons, ESPN and the NE media that makes every guy that plays in Boston or NYC a star.

      A guy at the local paper pointed out that in 2010 ESPN showed more games of the horrible New York Mets on national TV then they did of the two teams that went to the World Series, the Giants and Rangers……combined.

      • djpostl - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        well when baseball is treated as anything more than a summer distraction west of the Hudson they’ll remedy that situation.

  4. tashkalucy - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:29 AM


    I don’t think Johnny Damon needs to concern himself with that sort of decision.

    Lets see…..

    Babe Ruth, Lou Gerhig, Jackie Robinson, Rodgers Hornsby, Bob Feller, Cy Young, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Mel Ott, and…..

    Johnny Damon.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      It was an academic “what if” type of question. I doubt that Damon really expects to be in the Hall of Fame. No Joe Carter = no Johnny Damon.

      • genericcommenter - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        Joe Carter was never even in the discussion as far as the HOF, as it should be. Damn shouldn’t be either, BUT if he hangs on to get 3000 he will be considered.

    • paperlions - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      If that is the list you want to use, then how many current players belong in the HOF? Albert and Arod….then no one else (not even Jeter, because he doesn’t belong on the above list either). The HOF includes many players that were not the utra-elite of their time.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        ARod to the Hall of Fame! NOW!! He’;s got a break right now, and the induction is this weekend.,

    • screename529 - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      Luis Aparicio, Kiki Cuyler, Hugh Duffy, Frank Chance, Ralph Kiner, Kirby Puckett, Phil Rizzuto, Jim Rice, Lou Brock, Catfish Hunter, Goose Gossage….

      (Some of the many, MANY HOF’s with less career WAR than Damon)

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        And some of those shouldn’t be in either.

      • screename529 - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:58 AM

        Agreed, but it’s unfair to compare Damon to the best players ever as a reason he shouldn’t be in. I don’t think Damon should be in, but you can’t just rapidly dismiss him when there’s guys like the above in.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        That group of guys deserve to get in simply because they have some of the best baseball names EVER!!

      • jabberwock3 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        Agree with all except Puckett. If he had played anywhere else, there would be no discussion.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Freddie Lindstrom, Jim Rice, Rollie Fingers, the non-great Waner brother…

      Let’s not pretend the Hall of Fame is made up entirely of Babe Ruth’s and Hank Aaron’s.

      I don’t think Damon deserves to go to the hall, but if he did, he certainly wouldn’t be the worst choice by a long shot. He’s accumulated 50 war in his career and is just one of those guys who has a pretty good season every season for a number of years, but never really any great seasons.

    • djpostl - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      then read the damn article, especially the part that says “It’s kind of a lose-lose topic for a guy like Damon who, if he ducks or deflects questions about it, he’s not being particularly nice to his host, but if he answers it, he gets people saying stuff like “what, you think you’re going into the Hall of Fame, you delusional so-and-so?”

      • IdahoMariner - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:00 PM

        and I think he did a fabulous job of answering it, given those constraints.

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    You get 3,000 hits, you go to the Hall of Fame. Simple as that. Maybe it is an arbitrary number and stat guys will pull this nonsense to diminish the accomplishment, but 3,000 hits earns you a ticked to Cooperstown in my book.

    • Alex K - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      So you’re totally pushing for Palmero, right? He has 3,000 hits.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        PED’s. No PED’s then yes I would be pushing for Palmero. If other PED guys like Bonds go in, then Palmero should go in.

    • jabberwock3 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:15 AM

      Tell that to Pete Rose.

      • nolanwiffle - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        Evidently no one in Cooperstown has read drmonkeyarmy’s book.

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    Just like if Jamie Moyer pitches until he is 55 with his newly bionic elbow and reaches 300 wins, hall of fame. Don’t care how long it took him, don’t care about anything else….300 wins equals hall of fame.

    • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      If Fred McGriff played 1 more year and hit 8 more HRs to put him in the 500 club, how does that make him any more worthy? A HOF ballot should be filled out based on what you do in your 20’s and 30’s, not in your 40’s.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        A HOF ballot should be cast over the entire spectrum of ones career. Players shouldn’t be punished because they are good enough and have the desire to play later into life. The 500 home run milestone has been somewhat diminished by PED abuse so I don’t think that is an automatic for me anymore. However, since the “Crime Dog” was never linked to such things, to my knowledge anyway, then 500 HR would get him in. Tough luck he came 8 shy.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        I couldnt diagree more. I could care less what Willie Mays did as a Met, or Greg Maddux as a Padre. If you are absolutely dominant over your competetion for 10 years, you are a far superior player than a good player who plays 20 and has better career stats. If Albert Pujols goes blind tommorrow, he will always be a better player than Jim Thome. Look at the productive years when determining a players worth, not who plays the longest.

      • psousa1 - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        Crime Dog belongs in the Hall.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM

      Harold Baines was one Harold Baines season away from 3,000 hits, 400 home runs and 1,700 RBI’s. Just one 16 HR, 72 RBI, 140 hit season (which is almost exactly hit average season for his career), then Harold Baines would have been seen in the eyes of many as a not doubt hall of famer. Instead, he didn’t quite reach those numbers and has almost no hall of fame support.

      Baines illustrates how absurd the 3000=Hall of fame arguments are. Baines was a fine player who had a very good career, but few would argue that he belongs in Cooperstown. Yet, with a few less injuries or just one more season, he would have been a no doubter in the minds of most.

      How does one 16 HR, 72 RBI, .275 season turn a guy with no chance at the hall into a certain hall of famer?

  7. hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Johnnys not a hall of famer, no matter what numbers he gets too. He has had a nice career, but at best he was the third best center fielder of his generation. Griffey and Andruw Jones were far superior players.

    I know Andruw is a fat slob now, but he had an amazing 12 years, and for me, that is good enough for the hall of fame. Throw out the the first few years of career because of inexperience, and the last few years for holding on tooo long when evaluating HOF prospects in my book. In his 12 years in Atlanta he hit 30 homers 7 times, and 29 once. He was one of the few players who maintained his career numbers immediately following the implimentation of drug testing, hitting 41 homeruns and a career best 129 RBI. Overall , in his 12 Atlanta years, he had a 259 average, a .339 on base percentage, 371 home runs, 1131 RBI’s, 1066 runs scored, 1716 base hits and 138 stolen bases. These are numbers great first baseman put up, not center fielders.

    Oh. He also won 10 gold gloves.

    He gets a bum rap because he started so young, and ended so young. His career plateaued at 33 and sharply declined—fell off a cliff. But if he were to have come up at 24 rather than 19, and declined at 38 rather than 33, our perception would be much different.

    Andruw Jones is a top 15 center fielder of all time, and possibly a top ten. Anyone in the top 15 at their position in the history of baseball is a first balloter. Johnny Damon was a very nice player, and a nice guy, but will probably not make the hall.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      3,000 hits equals Hall of Fame. Less than 30 players ever have reached that milestone. Get there, get your ticket. Every thing else is irrelevant. End of.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        Is Omar Vizquel a guaranteed hof’er. To me no. He wasnt the SS Jeter was, Arod, Nomar, Tejada. You cant be 5th best at your position any given year and make the hall because you play til you are 50.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        Doesn’t matter. Reaching a historic milestone such as 3000 hits trumps all that other bullshit people will spew out trying to demean the accomplishment of hitting.

      • jabberwock3 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        Omar Vizquel belongs in the hall for just his defense, the best ever. Jeter better? My god, Yankee fans everywhere. Pass the Kool-aid.

      • nategearhart - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:59 AM

        Why 3,000 though? Why not 2,995? The difference is one good doubleheader.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        3,000 hits is over rated. 30 players, approx 120 years of modern baseball. Once evry 4 years this occurs. Statiscally speaking, there are 5 guys playing right now who will accomplish it.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      Sorry, but Andruw Jones is NOT a hall of famer. It’s really not even close. He is a lifetime .256 hitter with a .338 OBP. Even if he “compiles” enough totals to get close to Andre Dawson(who should NOT be in the hall of fame over Tim Raines), Andruw is still NOT getting in. Yeah, he was a great fielder. But the #s you quote aren’t anything special, especially in the steroid era. He led the league in HRs and RBI once. Top 5 MVP once…which was the same season.

      All told, Andruw deserves to be in the Hall of Very Good.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        OBP isn’t everything though. It’s very important, but it’s not the only thing. His slugging was excellent for a CF, making his overall offense pretty great, even for his era. And, more importantly, his defense was otherworldly. Not just great fielding, but all-time great fielding. Generational fielder, with amazing range and amazing reads.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        He is a gold glove center fielder. He isnt supposed to lead the league in any offensive category, yet he did, in multiple categories.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        If Andruw Jones is a Hall of Famer, with a .256 BA, then they might as well close the place down. I guess it’s his 60 WAR that is blinding people. Oh well. I guess I’ll just have to get used to the fact that WAR is absolutely good for EVERYTHING…say it again…BANG, I just shot myself…..

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        Name 5 better center fielders who debuted in the last 50 years. He is far superior to anyone not named Griffey or Puckett, and Kirbys questionable

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        Fiorentino has been dead on recently. You guys should listen to him more.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        hitt, he deserves to be in the hall of very good, in my opinion. He’s not a hall of famer. Sorry, but no matter how many GGs he won or how many great #s he put up in the steroid era, a guy with a .256 BA does not belong in the hall of fame. Period. Unless he won a couple MVPs. Dale Murphy won 2 MVPs, won 6 GG, put up his #s in an era where they counted, hit 10 points higher than Jones, and he isn’t in the Hall. I’d put Dale Murphy in the Hall before I would put Jones in there. But his WAR is only 45, so what do I know.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

        They dont play the same position. The fact that a center fielder put up numbers even close to a great right fielder like Dale Murphy is the reason he is great. If Dale Murphy was a 10 time gold glove winning center fielder, he’d be regarded as one of the best players to ever play the game. The fact that he is a converted catcher to the second least demanding position on the field is why he and Andruw Jones are not comparible. Jones was a far superior baseball player. Close offensively, worlds ahead defensively.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:53 AM

        Dale Murphy won 5 straight GGs as a CF. Geeze…and here I thought I was debating with someone who knew what the hell they were talking about.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        Difference is that not all Gold Gloves are created equal. Andruw Jones was a generational fielder, one of the greatest all-time. Statistical analysis, scouts, and fans all agree on this. He was pretty awesome offensively for a CF, even in his era, but his fielding really sets him apart.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        He only played 5 years as a full time center fielder. I guess now we have to include Craig Biggio in the greatest catcher discussion.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM

        Ari, I agree that Andruw was a special fielder. There’s no denying that. But he also hit .256. Even Mike Schmidt, who is the greatest hitting 3rd baseman of all time…and there really was never anybody even close, only hit .265. But he won 3 MVPs, 10 GGs, and hit 548 HRs. Andruw Jones, while I agree is a top 10 fielding CF, isn’t close as a hitter. He hit HRs in the steroid era. Big deal. So did a lot of guys. Christ, even Ozzie Smith hit .262.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        Over the last 25 years…here’s my list of best ALL AROUND CFs…

        Ken Griffey Jr.
        Jim Edmonds
        Bernie Williams
        Andruw Jones
        Carlos Beltran
        Torii Hunter

        I’m sure I am leaving somebody off the list, but that was with 15 minutes of thinking and looking. A guy who is the 4th best ALL-AROUND CF of his time is not a hall of famer …especially one who hit .256 for his career. IMHO…Hall of Very Good.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        I think you are really overlooking the fact the players you keep comparing him to A) played in different eras, and b) didnt play the same position. If Andruw Jones hit .320 with 5 hr’s and 60 rbi’s as a leadoff man, he would be far less valuable than his 30/100 seasons he averaged.

        Compare him to centerfielders. You cant compare catchers and first basemans offensive stats. Why compare center fielders to 3rd baseman. His 12 year stretch was one of the greatest ever for a center fielder, including players from his own era. You have to look a long way to find the next best CF of his era, even with great ones like Edmonds, Bernie, Torii, and Damon…excluding Griffey of course. He needs to be compared to his peers, not others in other era’s. Jeters stats won’t be compared to Ozzie or Honus or Ernie Banks when it’s time to elect him or not. He will be compared to Nomar, Tejada, Furcal, and Edgar Renteria.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM

        I took to long to type, so my last comment looks pretty stupid. But Edmonds and Bernie…you’re dreaming

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        Hey Hit Family:

        Edmonds, Jim

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        Edmonds has a career .903 OPS. While I am no stat geek, to me, that is a HUGE advantage he has over Jones…especially since Jones’s is a paltry .824. Oh, and for good measure, Edmonds has 8 GGs of his own. Jim Edmonds was definitely a better ALL-AROUND centerfielder than Andruw Jones for their CAREERS.

        Now to Bernie…yeah, it’s a lot closer with Bernie. But he has 4 GGs of his own, and he also has a career OPS that is 30 points higher than Jones. He also was great in the post-season and was a part of 5 world champions.

        Maybe I’ll give you a tie on Bernie. But Edmonds was a better ALL-AROUND centerfielder than Jones.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Oops…sorry Yankees fans…did I say 5. I forgot about that little blooper that Gonzalez hit in the 2001 World Series 😀

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        I used this arguement earlier and I will use it again. I could care less that Willie Mays brought his career averages down playing for the Mets. I could care less that Greg Maddux’s ERA finished over 3 because he went to the Dodgers and Padres. It doesnt change their brilliant careers in the slighest. Similiarly, Jones’ career batting average sucks because in the twilight of his career, he has significantly brought it down with a .158 average over 209 at bats, .214 over 281 at bats, .230 in 278 abs, .204 in 98 abs. He has sucked these last 4 years, and has drastically reduced his career averages.

        Jones should have retired 4 years ago. What he did for 11.5 seasons is what makes him superior to Edmonds. There wasnt a GM in baseball who would rather have Jim Edmonds at any point in his career than Andruw from 1997-2007. From Jones’ first full season in 97 til his last as a Brave in 07, he was spectacular. In that 11 year span, he hit 363 hr’s, Jones primarily led off or hit in the 6 hole, and still had 1104 rbi’s. He averaged 35 hr’s, 100 rbi’s, 94 runs 12 sb’s and won 10 of 11 gold gloves.

        Jim Edmonds, in a 18 year career, has 30 more homeruns and 85 more RBI than Jones did in 11 years.

        Jim Thome has more RBI, hr, walks, and hits than Albert Pujols. If Albert Pujols quits tommorrow, he will still be a far superior baseball player. Andruw Jones is a far superior baseball player than Edmonds.

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        It has been a fun back and forth Chris. I learned a lot of stats I wasnt aware of, primarily the great career Edmonds had. I agree, Dale Murphy should be in the hall. He should have been in a long time ago. My idea of the hall has always been different than others in some respect. I dont think service time is as valuable as top 10 seasons. That pretty much sums up Johnny Damons career (to get back to him). He has a lot of hits, but was never a top performer. Not a haller.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        Even in those 11 fantastic years that Jones had, he had the following line… .263 BA, .343 OBP, .498 SLG, .841 OPS, 114 OPS+. 114 OPS+ is not really all that special.

        Taking Edmunds prime years in the same way, from 1995 to 2008, he averaged 27 Home Runs and his line was .285 BA, .380 OBP, .537 SLG, .916 OPS, 134 OPS+!!! 20 points of OPS+ is pretty frigging huge.

        Oh, and for the WAR fans out there, Edmunds career WAR is 8 points higher than Jones.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      Griffey and Andruw Jones were better….
      ….so was Jim Edmonds. 393 HR, .903 career OPS, very good defensive outfielder and 68 career WAR.

      No, Damon was not 3rd!

  8. Earl Westlake - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    If it was, then Reggie Jackson would be wearing an Athletics’ cap.

    Reggie CHOSE to be inducted as a Yankee. You know, back when players actually made sensible decsions as to what cap to wear. It all changed when the Devil Rays started putting contract clauses in Wade Boggs, Jose Canseco, and Fred McGriff’s deals that they would retire as Devil Rays in the HOF. That’s when the commissioner’s office finally wisely stepped in and took the players choice away. Now its up to Cooperstown.

    • mordecofe - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      That is very interesting – for some reason, I thought it was always the HoF’s choice!

      • chesschum - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        It’s not always up to Cooperstown. I understand there are situations where the player’s tenure with two or more clubs is similar enough that he can decide, and Damon’s case (not that it will come to that) is one of those. When Dawson was elected, there was some question as to whether he would be allowed to choose between the Expos and the Cubs, but the Hall (or whoever) evidently decided that he had played enough more for the Expos that the decision was out of his hands. If he’d finished his career in Chicago (he played an additional 3 1/2 seasons after leaving the Cubs), it would probably have been a different story.

  9. Detroit Michael - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    It seems to me that choosing the Royals cap avoids having to come down on one side or the other of the Yankees v. Red Sox debate. A wise choice, if Damon was going to answer the question at all.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      This is probably as close to the truth as any post here. Johnny usually responded diplomatically (evasive). Must have learned it from Beep-beep.

  10. Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    The “compiler” argument is usually used against guys like Blyleven, who weren’t actual compilers but were just great for a ridiculously long time without being noticed for it at the time. But in this case, Damon has just been very good and very healthy for a very long time. He was NEVER great. The guy only had four 4-win seasons and never a 5-win. He had a career .790 OPS in a hitter’s era and was always overrated defensively.

    He was remarkably, record-breakingly healthy, though. So, he’s got that going for him. Which is nice.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      Ari, when you say Blyleven was “great for a ridiculously long time” I wonder what your definition of “great” is? I mean, even the most ardent of Blyleven supporters do not make that statement…least I have never heard them make it. Sounds to me like you are only looking at one thing…WAR….which is your prerogative. That’s why I hate the stat…and I especially hate it when it is used for players from another era.

      • indyralph - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:35 AM

        ERA, ERA-, FIP-, K/BB, HR/9, WHIP, CG, SO

        3.59, 82, 80, 2.92, 0.78, 1.21, 14, 5
        3.31, 85, 81, 2.80, 0.78, 1.20, 242(!), 60(!!)

        First is Justin Verlander, second is Bert Blyleven. Verlander hasn’t had his decline phase yet, and is one the great pitchers in baseball.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:41 AM

        Verlander also pitched through the Steroid era. You can’t compare Blyleven to a guy who pitched in the last 15-20 years.

        I’m not saying Blyleven didn’t have a Hall of Fame career. He definitely did.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        No, you’re wrong. Most baseball analysts agree he was great.

        WAR is a good stat because it takes everything into account. But if you look at many individual stats, you get “great” too.

        1. He was top 10 in ERA nearly every year, and top 5 7 times. He had a sub-3 ERA 8 times.

        2. Top 5 in WHIP 7 times.

        3. Top 5 in K/9 9 times.

        4. Top 5 in IP 6 times.

        5. 9th ALL-TIME in shutouts.

        6. Top 5 in K/BB 13 times. THIRTEEN.

        But he played for losing teams, so never got the wins, and for small media markets, so no one noticed him.

        He basically had Roy Halladay’s career, only he got started earlier and (so far!) lasted longer.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        Halladay is an 8-time All Star with 6 top-5 finishes for the Cy Young, including twice winning it in 14 seasons.

        Blyleven was a 2-time All Star with 4 top 10 finishes and 0 Cy Young awards in 22 seasons.

        I’ll give some of that to Blyleven having an average W-L record and playing for small market teams. But I can’t just shrug it all off to that. I don’t think anyone ever uttered the words “Bert Blyleven is the best pitcher in baseball” like they have about Halladay for at least the last 4 years.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

        He was the best pitcher in baseball quite often, and if the newspaper men weren’t so obsessed with the absurd pitcher win stat at the time, he would have won 3-5 Cy Youngs.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        Also, pretty much no one just uses WAR. WAR is an amazing stat because it combines useful stats to show you overall value, but how you get there is important too. Someone like Shane Victorino is a very different player from Ryan Braun. WAR can show you that they have the same value this year, but how they get there is half the fun.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        Chris – you can’t use All-Star voting or Cy Young voting to criticize Blyleven. It’s not his fault that baseball writers of the time didn’t know he was the best pitcher in baseball many years. They looked at pitcher wins, and that was pretty much it.

        Fortunately, writers (as a group, anyway) are smarter now.

      • jabberwock3 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM

        “Always good, never great” is a phrase that should never be applied to someone trying to get into any hall of fame

      • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:58 PM

        Apparently Bert Blylevin is superior to Tom Glavine

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:13 AM

      Oh, and FYI…Damon had a 6.6 WAR in 2000 with the Royals.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        That’s B-R’s WAR, which uses different fielding measures. Not wrong fielding measures, just different. But it’s still measuring him against his competition, and 2000 was his only top ten finish in bWAR.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

        Damn…there are different WARs??? UGH…I really did just shoot mys…

      • Ari Collins - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        They use different fielding metrics. Another reason that, as I said, no one uses “just” WAR. It’s a stat that brings a lot of other stats together, but it’s important to look at what stats are being used. FOr fielding metrics, most people look at several to get an idea.

  11. yankeesgameday - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    Put him in an A’s hat and be done with it.

    • hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      Pull a Wade Boggs and go in as a Ray!!!

      • sagequest - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        Wade went into the HOF representing the Red Sox NOT the Rays.

  12. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Royal or no Royal doesnt really matter to me. But Damon was not “loyal” to the team. As soon as he had the opportunity to make big money in free agency he forced a trade on the Royals. That was actually a big deal in KC at the time. He wanted the money, which is fine but its not “loyal”.

  13. addictedzone - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Upon entry, would Johnny Damon have the worst throwing arm in the history of the Hall of Fame?

    • 18thstreet - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:50 PM

      “Hall of Very Good” — 400 crappy columns, 8 years from now.

  14. poochpi - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    JD is a HOF if he gets 3000 hits. The HOF has evolved to include consistent excellence over time, and 3000 hits, along with his other career highlites, gets him in. Does that put him in the class of Babe and Joe D, no way, but doesn’t take away from an incredible achievement.

    He can play center when Don Sutton pitches at the HOF old timers game.

    • nategearhart - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      What about if he ends up with 2,999?

  15. psousa1 - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Johnny Damon was a tough SOB (no matter how little Joe Torre thought of him) who played through injury and helped change the Red Sox chemistry from the toxic Nomar, John Valentin, Carl Everett, Dante Bichette type of atmosphere to a winning attitude. If he gets 3,000 hits he should be in.

  16. jabberwock3 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Johnny, Johnny. Hall ain’t no place for banjo-pickers, boy.

  17. jabberwock3 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Is it just me, or do I hear more guys talking about their HOF credentials, while they are still active players, more and more these days? Methinks said possessors of low self-esteem should just shut up and pad what must be questionable stats in the first place if they feel the need to convince others of their prowess.

  18. Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    HOF threads always turn into people arguing over who is good enough and who isn’t.

    I say if Mazeroski is in, you MUST let Damon in. Anything else would just be plain uncivilized.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      J5, I think you should be in the Movie Robot HOF. No doubt about it. Right there with the Bicentennial man, A.I.(not THAT AI) and Wall-E.

  19. sagequest - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Boggs went into the HOF representing the Red Sox NOT the Rays…

  20. ta192 - Jul 22, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    I suspect a Royal’s cap on a Damon HOF plaque just isn’t in the cards…
    Also, I wonder if he really meant what he said when he said it…

    • ta192 - Jul 22, 2011 at 5:35 PM

      Oh, and by the way, I always felt Reggie should have gone into the Hall with an A’s cap on…major contributor to a major mini-dynasty.

  21. wlschneider09 - Jul 22, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    And for what it’s worth, Jeff Francouer wants to go in the Hall as a brave….

  22. browniebuck - Jul 22, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    Johnny Damon…a Hall of Famer??? Pete Rose…still waiting??? If I were a baseball player, I would rather NOT be in the HOF if guys like Johnny Damon are in and guys like Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire AREN’T in. Say what you will about Bonds and McGwire…they were dominant players in their era (whether it was the steroid era or not). Perhaps the HOF should have a special wing for the juicers, but they deserve to be in WELL before Johnny Damon should.

  23. rondibjwu - Jul 23, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Let’s use the “eye ball” test for HOF. Damon doesn’t make it. It’s crazy to compare numbers against other guys when both leagues can’t even agree on playing by the same rules and the ball parks are different.

    He can’t even reach 2nd base when he throws. Also, let’s not continue to put guys in just because others got in without deserving it. Start that in 2012.

  24. paperlions - Jul 27, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    just a test

    Dodgers Vs. Pirates: Bucs Sneak Over .500 Thanks To Blown Call, Eighth-Inning Doubles

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