Damon: "My price is too high right now"

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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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Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.