Associated Press

Johnny Damon on Donald Trump: “If he needs me anywhere, I’ll be there”

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I smell a new regular feature, you guys: ballplayers who endorse Donald Trump. Unless of course it’s just ex-Yankees who do it, which is a distinct possibility. I dunno.

Earlier it was Paul O’Neill. The latest: Johnny Damon. Which should not be anything approaching a surprise given that he spent a season on The Donald’s reality show a couple of years ago. He was on the same season as Geraldo Rivera, Kate Gosselin and Vivica A. Fox, so it was a pretty heady time for him. Of course later that year he was the subject of a fantastic Pat Jordan profile that suggested maybe it wasn’t so heady, actually, but more of a lost time for him as he struggled to figure out how to live life without baseball. Understandable.

Now Damon seems pretty clear about what he wants — Donald Trump in the Oval Office. From the Daily News:

“I want (Trump) for president,” Damon, 42, told the Daily News Wednesday. “I’m a Trump fan ever since I met him seven or eight years ago. Everything he does, he does first-class — his hotels, his businesses, his golf courses. The issues all the other politicians failed to discuss, (Trump) is bringing us up to speed.”

He’s cool with Trump’s immigration platform and defends him against accusations of racism. Damon says “Everyone is calling him a racist. He just wants people to come into this country legally and fill out the proper paperwork. That’s how I’m viewing it.”

Whatever works for you, Johnny. Now, can someone find Andy Phillips or Scott Proctor? I’m dying to know their take on Decision 2016.

Braves ace Mike Soroka out for year with torn Achilles

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Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won’t be back on the mound until 2021.

“It’s a freak thing that happened,” manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. “I’m sorry it did.”

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

“Somebody else is going to get an opportunity,” Snitker said. “Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We’re going to be fine.”

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won’t get a chance to make up for it this season.