Hot Stove Player of the Week: Johnny Damon

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Hot Stove Player of the Week: Johnny Damon
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Red Sox Yankees Baseball

The Yankees-Red Sox war resumed last night in the Bronx. Of course, one of the great players in this rivalry was Thurman Munson, who tragically died 30 years ago Sunday, and Jorge Posada paid tribute to the former Yankee captain by wearing a #15 decal on his mask. Besides winning the Rookie of the Year, an MVP award, three Gold Gloves and two World Series, Munson absolutely hated the Red Sox and Carlton Fisk. In a game in 1973, he barreled into Fisk at home plate, and a 10-minute bench-clearing brawl ensued. That’s what Yankees-Red Sox baseball is all about.

Even though Munson is dead, he’s still healthier than the Mets, though. Jon Niese, Luis Castillo and Gary Sheffield threw themselves on the Mets’ injury pile this week. A Met official stated: “All our injured players should be back by December, so if we can stay within 20 games of the lead, we should be able to make a run.”

Meanwhile, David Ortiz has recently been in contact with O.J. Simpson to get advice on the Juice’s investigation into finding “the real killers.” While Ortiz is in town, he’ll search for the culprit who secretly put steroids in his body without his knowledge, as he vows to “get to the bottom of this situation.”

And earlier this week, former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress was indicted on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, one count of reckless endangerment and one count of being an ass-clown. Coincidentally, Burress also was in touch with O.J., looking for advice about finding “the real shooter.” “It couldn’t have been me,” Burress was overheard saying, proclaiming his innocence. “Only an idiot would have shot himself in the leg. I’ll find the real shooter even if I have to spend three years in jail doing it.”

 

Winner

Johnny Damon: The red hot left fielder helped destroy the Sox last night, blasting a home run off John Smoltz (he’s doing for the Red Sox what Tom Glavine did for the Mets) and picking up three hits. Since last Friday, Damon’s batting .458 with three dingers and six RBI, and he’s breaking up double plays in Canada along the way.

 

Runners Up

Melky Cabrera: Melky only had two good games this week, but what games they were. He hit a three-run homer last night against Boston, and on Sunday hit for the cycle in Chicago. It was the 15th time a Yankee has accomplished that feat. Bert Daniels was the first to do it in franchise history in 1912—also against the White Sox. Bob Meusel hit for the cycle three times, and Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio both did it twice. Bobby Murcer did it in 1972, and Tony Fernandez was the last Yank to do it, in 1995.

Angel Pagan: The Mets fill-in center fielder had the week of his career. He hit the game-winning grand slam on Saturday, and finished the week with two homers, two triples and 11 RBI. If the Mets could have won more than two games this week, he would have been the Player of the Week.

Andy Pettitte: The veteran notched his first win since July 1, beating Toronto on Tuesday, going 6.2 innings and only allowing one run.

Eli Manning: The Giants franchise QB signed a six-year, $97 million contract ($35 million guaranteed). You probably wouldn’t want him in your fantasy league, but he has a Super Bowl MVP, has led his team to the playoffs four years in a row, and is the only quarterback in Giants history to throw for 3,000 yards and 20 TDs in four consecutive seasons. Now the question is: Who will catch his passes?

Mark Teixeira: Ho-hum. A .417 average, two home runs and seven RBI. Just another week for the Yankee first baseman.

David Wright: The face of the franchise hit two home runs in one week. I repeat: Two home runs in one week. He may reach double digits after all. And he had a pitch thrown right at his head on Wednesday. Old-fashioned baseball. But you probably shouldn’t throw at someone’s head because, well, you know, it might hurt.

 

Schmuck of the Week

Sean Green: You just can’t make this stuff up. Sure, the Mets have been decimated by injuries, but this Sean Green trifecta just may sum up their season: In May, Green walked in the winning run against Philadelphia. On Friday, the Mets lost when Green threw a wild pitch right after getting a 3-2-3 double play. And on Tuesday, with the bases loaded, his first pitch hit Mark DeRosa to force in the eventual game-winning run. And for good measure, he coughed up an Albert Pujols grand slam a few pitches later. Good job. Thanks for coming. Let’s see if he can lose a game by balking. There are still 54 games left.

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