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The Orioles are, obviously, interested in Johnny Damon

Jan 13, 2012, 10:02 AM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

A Johnny Damon signing would be one of the most Orioles moves in recent years. And now Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles “appear to have some interest” in him.

Not that signing Damon would be a bad thing. He hit .261/.326/.418 with 16 homers and 19 steals last year and was actually hampered by his home park. Moving to Baltimore would mean that he wouldn’t get to face Orioles pitching anymore, but Camden Yards would be more friendly to him. And unlike the other DH candidates out there he can still play some left field, albeit not well.

Either way, Damon’s days of helping contenders are likely over. At this point his raison d’être is to try to get as close to 3,000 hits as he can, thereby making him the topic of one of the more frustrating Hall of Fame debates ever. Which should be fun.

  1. marshmallowsnake - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Not really a hall of famer….even if he gets to 3000 hits (much like people saying Thome was not when he got 500 – even though he was). Was he ever a dominant player? There were much better outfielders who cannot throw during his tenure.

    • trevorb06 - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      I don’t think he’s HOF material but I know if he got in I wouldn’t be one bit upset about it (mostly if he gets 3000 hits). But just keep in mind though if Damon gets in as a batter then somebody such as Jamie Moyer at least deserves some intelligent discussion about HOF. The main thing Damon has going for him is longevity. He was never ‘the best’ in a single season or time frame but he definately has stayed productive for a very long time and that deserves a lot of respect and recognition right there.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        In a period where longetivity is now rare, that especially stands out.

        His career total WAR is 46; does that compare with many HOF OF’s?

      • jwbiii - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Damon’s bWAR is 51.6, here’s the +/- 5 group. Not much love from the writers, some the the VC. The pct column is the max BBWAA vote.

        Joe Medwick LF 55.8 84.80% B 1968
        Joe Kelley LF 55.5 0.40% V 1971
        Enos Slaughter RF 54.1 68.90% V 1985
        King Kelly RF 53.3 0.00% V 1945
        Bob Johnson LF 53.2 0.50%
        Minnie Minoso LF 52.8 21.10%
        Harry Hooper RF 52.5 3.00% V 1971
        Cesar Cedeno CF 52.2 0.50%
        Jose Cruz LF 52.2 0.40%
        Jimmy Sheckard LF 51.8 0.40%
        Johnny Damon CF 51.6
        Max Carey CF 50.6 51.10% V 1961
        Chet Lemon CF 49.9 0.20%
        Kiki Cuyler RF 49.6 33.80% V 1968
        Hugh Duffy LF 49.6 33.00% V 1945
        Brian Downing LF 49.4 0.40%
        Vada Pinson CF 49.3 15.70%
        Ellis Burks CF 47.9 0.40%
        Larry Doby CF 47.4 3.40% V 1998
        Fred Lynn CF 47.3 5.50%
        Bernie Williams CF 47.3 9.60%
        Sam Thompson RF 46.7 0.00% V 1974
        Kirby Puckett CF 46.6 82.10% B 2001
        Brett Butler CF 46.5 0.40%
        Edd Roush CF 46.5 54.30% V 1962

    • crashdog - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      Career stat line fairly similar to Biggio. Being very good for 20 years or so usually will get you the numbers necessary to get in. Agreed on Thome though

      • paperlions - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        Biggio played most of his career at premium defensive positions (catcher and 2B) and was more productive (117 wOBA+ compared to 108 for Damon) mostly due to better OBP…Biggio also played most of his career in the offense killing Astrodome….if you are a below average OF, you need to be far better than Damon was with the bat to offset the defensive value of a catcher/2B…and Damon was worse with the bat.

        Biggio should be a 1st ballot HOF for being a top 12 2B all-time (still not nearly as good as Lou Whittaker though)…..Damon should drop off the ballot quickly for being a slightly above average player over the course of a long career.

  2. bobwsc - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    are we playing Mad Libs here Craig? seems like an adjective is missing:

    A Johnny Damon signing would be one of the most _____ Orioles moves in recent years. And now Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles “appear to have some interest” in him.

    • genericcommenter - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      “Orioles” might be the adjective. As in an Orioles type of move.

      • southcapitolstreet - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        As in, “a lineup with Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero, Derek Lee and Alfonso Soriano would be the Oriolest in baseball”

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        I asked him; generic is right.

  3. lembeck4 - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    That photo is priceless. I’m not sure if he’s about to fling his own poo or bang two cymbals together.

    Where is the man in the yellow hat?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      It’s rather curious that the man is missing? Guess he likes to monkey around?

  4. bmorefan4ever - Jan 13, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Not just No but he!! NO….

  5. bozosforall - Jan 13, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Looks like Johnny is trying to get his entire AL East “frequent customer” card punched before he retires.

  6. randomdigits - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I don’t pay attention to Heyman normally but when he is talking about a Boras client I pay even less attention.

  7. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    He needs to be with the O’s in 2012 and the Blue Jays in 2013. Then he would have been in all AL East uniforms!

  8. benandjerrysberryhorny - Jan 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    If the Orioles make this signing, Camden Yards will fall. The warehouse will crumble into a pile of fiery rubble. The field will crack straight down the middle and bursts of lava will spew a thousand feet high.

    • DJ MC - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Stringer and McNulty living together! Mass hysteria!

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 13, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      Or none of that will happen and he’d have a decent 2012 in orange & black.

  9. xmatt0926x - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    A couple years ago I remember Damon himself semi-joked about what teams cap he would like to wear if he made the hall of fame. My jaw hit the floor and I thought this must be the most insanely warped human being of all time. Hall of fame?? Johnny Damon?? Then I checked his career #’s and my jaw hit the floor again. He had about 2500 hits at the time. I couldn’t believe this guy was going to get 3000 hits. He now really just needs 2 more decent seasons to get there. I’m still not sure he’s a hall of famer but he really did kind of sneak up there. I know 500 HR’s isn’t a magical HOF milestone anymore but is 3000 hits? That’s a lot of effin’ hits yet he just doesn’t have that HOF feel. I don’t know.

  10. xmatt0926x - Jan 13, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    **also, he has over 400 stolen bases , I believe. That will help him.

  11. dowhatifeellike - Jan 13, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Enough with the has-beens, Angelos! Get someone young and hungry, not some big name who is slumping their way to retirement *cough* Sosa *cough* Guerrero *cough* Javy Lopez *cough* Kevin Millar *cough* Kevin Millwood

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