This just in: Johnny Damon is pessimistic about a return to the Yankees (from the New York Post, via Sporting News).
“I know I don’t fit their payroll,” Damon said. “We’ve had a little bit of communication with them, but my price is too high right now. I don’t think I’m their solution.”
Despite the Yankees’ signing of Nick Johnson, it’s conceivable that Damon could return to the Bronx. The Yankees can’t be comfortable with Brett Gardner as their everyday left fielder can they? If Damon just lowers his asking price, maybe something will get done. Even Damon seems to allude to that with his “my price is too high right now” comment.
I just hope someone signs him soon, because the world really doesn’t need any more of this. Ever.
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As you no doubt saw already, Mets manager Mickey Callaway had a bad day yesterday. After some testy exchanges with the media over his bullpen use, he blew up at Newsday reporter Tim Healey after Healey told Callaway that he’d see him tomorrow, which Callaway took as sarcastic. Then Jason Vargas unhelpfully piled on, walking toward Healey and threatening him with violence. Healy spoke to his Newsday colleague David Lennon and explained the whole thing here. He’s pretty even-handed about it.
Callaway was already thought to be on at least moderately thin ice as Mets manager given his team’s underachievement this year. Thin ice or not, it’s not unreasonable to say that his behavior yesterday is something that a lot of teams would think of as a fireable offense. At the very least leaders in other businesses would think that way if one of their public-facing employees treated a reporter who covered him in that manner. In addition to it simply being bad form, it raises questions about Callaway’s temperament and his ability to handle pressure and adversity.
The Mets, however, do not seem to consider the matter to raise to that level. While they offered apologies to Healey and vowed that that he will be welcome in the clubhouse — for which Healey was appreciative — Callaway will be back to work as usual today, with the Mets announcing this morning that he will hold his usual pre-game press conference at 4PM in advance of tonight’s game against the Phillies.
Tell me: if you’re the GM or owner of a team and your manager does that, do you keep him? What do you do?