Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Braves and the Tigers are somewhat interested in Johnny Damon and would sign him if the price was right:
It’s not clear how many suitors are showing interest in Johnny Damon at the moment. But the Tigers and Braves are definitely among the group, multiple major league sources told FOXSports.com late Friday . . . Thus far, the Braves have taken a more passive approach than the
Tigers. They would be happy to sign Damon if he “falls into their lap,”
one source said Friday, but are unlikely to offer him a lucrative deal.
We’re approaching the point where specific rumors regarding Damon are becoming meaningless because if his price is so low that teams like the Braves are coming back into play — say$2-3 million for a single year — just about any team can afford him, even the ones who have never once been rumored to be interested.
Think of it like the going out of business sale at the local video store: you or I would never buy a copy of “Wicker Man” on DVD in the normal course, but if it was sitting alone on a shelf for $1.99, we’d probably think really hard about picking it up.
OK, that’s nuts, but Johnny Damon is still useful, and these prices, some team is going to decide that they can’t afford not to buy.
World Series Game 1 was billed as a battle of aces, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw against Chris Sale of the Red Sox. Between them, they have 14 All-Star Game nominations. Kershaw has won three Cy Young Awards. Sale could his first Cy Young Award this year. Among his 10 seasons with at least 110 innings pitched, Kershaw has never posted an ERA above 2.92. Sale has been at 2.90 or below in each of the last two seasons. The two have combined for over 4,000 career strikeouts and both have averaged better than a strikeout per inning over their careers.
And yet Tuesday’s Game 1 was anything but a pitcher’s duel between Kershaw and Sale. Though a couple of fielding mistakes weren’t of any help to Kershaw in the first inning, Red Sox batters were squaring him up good. Of the five balls put in play in the first inning, three had exit velocities of 100 MPH or higher. Of the 12 total balls put in play against him overall, five reached triple digits in exit velo.
Kershaw gave up a pair of runs in the first, another run in the third on a J.D. Martinez double to straightaway center field, and another two in the fifth. Kershaw led off the fifth by walking Mookie Betts, then giving up a single to Andrew Benintendi, ending his night. Ryan Madson relieved Kershaw and proceeded to allow both inherited runners to score. All told, Kershaw yielded five runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts on 79 pitches in four-plus innings.
Sale, meanwhile, was on the hook for individual runs in the second, third, and fifth. Dodger hitters weren’t squaring him up quite as well as the Red Sox batters squared up Kershaw, but Sale was still more hittable than usual. Of the eight balls put in play against him, four were at least 90 MPH in exit velo. One of the runs was a no-doubt solo home run to Matt Kemp in the second. The Dodgers chased Sale in the fifth when he issued a leadoff walk to Brian Dozier. Matt Barnes relieved him allowed the inherited runner to score. Overall, Sale threw 91 pitches in four-plus innings, serving up three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
The game is now, as has been generally the case throughout this postseason, a battle of the bullpens.