"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Damon/Torre is equivalent to Tejada/Trembley

Following Wednesday's game, Miguel Tejada of the Baltimore Orioles had played in 1,151 consecutive games. In this game, he was hit on the wrist by a pitch.

Because this streak is the fifth-longest in Major League history, he decided to play on Thursday with the backing of interim manager Dave Trembley. In the first inning of this game, he tried to lay down a bunt because he couldn't swing due to his injured wrist. After reaching first, he was removed for a pinch runner, and then went on the disabled list with a non-displaced fracture in his wrist. The streak is now over at 1,152 games.

What does this have to do with the Yankees? Well, Johnny Damon has never been on the DL in his career, a Tejada-like streak of immortality. This season, his body has broken down to the point where he can't play more than six innings in the outfield without his calves cramping up and his abdominal strain preventing him from swinging the bat. Despite all of these nagging injuries, Joe Torre won't do the smart thing and put him on the DL. From the New York Times:

But before the midway point of the second year of the deal, Damon has shown repeated signs of breaking down. He has been bothered by calf cramps since spring training and has also been slowed by back and ribcage injuries. By the time the Yankees start their next series in Baltimore on Tuesday, Damon could be on the disabled list.

“I’m just praying that I’ll be ready for Tuesday,” Damon said before Friday night’s game with the Giants at AT&T Park. “We’ll see.”

Manager Joe Torre said Damon would not start any of the games here this weekend, and Damon said he would not even swing a bat. Torre did not rule out using Damon as a pinch-hitter in a close game, but he said he hoped to rest Damon and see if he feels better Tuesday, when he could serve as the designated hitter.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Wait two weeks,’ ” Torre said. “But at this point in time, even if Johnny isn’t at the top of his game, he’s probably still better than someone we could put out there, especially when we get to the D.H. situation.”

Damon played six innings in center field Thursday in Denver before his calves cramped up on him and he switched to first base, where he made an error.

In center, Damon chased down a long fly ball in the fourth inning, but he also let the Rockies’ Matt Holliday advance from first base to third on a single hit to him in the fifth. Holliday scored on a sacrifice fly, and the Yankees lost by a run (source).

He obviously can't play without a stint on the DL. It is not important that he's never been on the DL. He hurts the team when he's in there, and he's hurting the team when he's sitting on the bench, not playing and taking up a roster spot.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Wait two weeks,’” Torre said.

I know it is, Joe. Wait two weeks.


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