Johnny Damon - October 19, 2011


He is playing in the Pro-Am portion of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic this week. Being from Orlando, Florida, he said that it is always great to be back home and it is also nice to be playing at a place where dreams come true. The Children’s Miracle Network is a wonderful organization and they do a great job with the tournament. Looking back on the regular season when the Rays ended up going to the playoffs over the Red Sox, he and the rest of the team knew around the 5th inning that it was a definite possibility that Baltimore would beat Boston and they were counting on the Orioles to help them out. The Rays were in a very close game but they were able to take the lead late. On the question on rivalries in golf, he feels that events like the Ryder Cup successfully create that feeling of rivalry among teams if not among players. Rivalries are great and excluding college football, the Red Sox-Yankees may be the greatest rivalry there is. Since he left the Red Sox for the Yankees, Boston fans look at him as the player who left. Looking at the 2011 World Series, he is rooting for Texas but acknowledges that St. Louis would be a great story as they overcame the second largest deficit over the last month of the season to make the playoffs. He thinks that Texas has too much going for them not to win. It would be unfortunate if Prince Fielder left Milwaukee and if Albert Pujols left St. Louis. Damon is a free agent this year and he hopes to be a member of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012 but he has enough experience with free agency to know that anything can happen and he could end up with a number of different teams. It is very important to him to reach 3,000 career hits because over his career, he has not received a lot of votes for big awards because his best years have come on teams who did not play that well in those respective seasons. He feels like he has snuck up on a lot of people with his consistent play and feels that reaching 3,000 hits would put his career on a different level. In 2009, he hit a bad shot on the final Kodak Challenge hole with the leader Kevin Streelman which ended up helping Kevin make the birdie that he had to make to win the $1 million prize.