Thursday, August 26, 2010

Now Batting.....Mr Misery

I might have never suspected that former Yankee Johnny Damon currently resides at the point of intersection between Jon Bon Jovi and Thomas Wolfe. I most certainly never would have thought that at that point of convergence, Damon would lean more towards the latter than the former. Something new can indeed be learned every day. There goes Damon a/k/a "The Proof".
In the interests of full disclosure, while I used to believe that my rooting interest in the sports teams I favor was a passionate one, as I have aged I have come to realize that while I am indeed a fan I am not nearly invested personally enough in any of the teams to be considered passionate. I think the realization came to me as I read one article after another on-line on Tuesday about Damon's decision to not waive his "no trade" clause, a move that would have cleared the way for his present team - the Detroit Tigers - to trade him to one of his former teams - the Boston Red Sox.
Damon was a Red Sox player who, I suppose, had he not escaped the home base of the true Evil Empire (a little insider humor girls and boys but if you have been here since Aught-Nine you know of which I speak) for a four-year hitch in the Bronx would be best remembered in Yankee Land for the grand slam he hit off of Javy Vazquez in Game Seven of the ALCS in 2004, which broke the game open for Boston, won the Sox the pennant and reversed the Curse. He did escape. He did get his hair cut, shave his beard and in the final year of the four years he spent in pinstripes, he did help the Yankees win the 2009 World Series........much as he had helped Boston do in 2004.
Apparently Red Sox Nation prides itself on never removing its collective foot from the throat of its former heroes who - for whatever reason - end up plying their trade in another zip code after completing service for the Sox. I have never met Damon. I do not pretend to know the man. However based upon what I have read recently it appears as if he expected to be spared that treatment when he returned to Fenway Park as a visiting player in 2006. He apparently expected to be spared it even though he returned to the Fens wearing his Yankees road uniform. He was not.
And if at least one published report is to be believed, he never forgot. And it appears as if he forgave the fans for their treatment of him as much as they forgave him for leaving in the first place. I had not realized until I read it in print that Damon apparently was booed in Fenway Park when he played there this season......as a Tiger. That does seem a bit harsh. But perhaps par for the course in the Town of Beans.
Whether time does indeed heal all wounds is a question open to debate. Gun to my head (quick - guess where the wound would be) I would be forced to confess that I have always found that statement to be representative of a woefully oversimplified view of the real world. I know not whether all wounds heal or whether they simply scab over, putting a covering atop that which becomes hidden from view. Healed? Not healed? One cannot know for certain unless and until one is bold enough to pull back the scab and take a look inside.
This week baseball fans in New England, Michigan and in all points between and beyond got to see 'neath the surface of a professional athlete's psyche. While there is a wound there that remains unhealed, it is one that has nevertheless managed to scar.
At the point of intersection between Jon Bon Jovi and Thomas Wolfe, perhaps Johnny Damon sees the world from a Costello-ian point of view. Home is not where it used to be.
-AK

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