On Monday night, Feb. 8, 2010, National League owners met in a secret location and voted unanimously to adopt the designated hitter, beginning with spring training.
There was no official announcement, and press organizations have yet to pick up on the surprise news.
But there can be no other explanation for the Atlanta Braves offering Johnny Damon a contract than such a meeting.
Unless every single executive in the Braves organization, from Bobby Cox to the owner, has suddenly become Elton John's Pinball Wizard—that deaf, dumb, and blind boy.
Because if anyone connected with baseball has any of their five senses intact, they have to know Damon cannot play in the outfield anymore.
In the summer of 2008, the New York Yankees traded for Xavier Nady to take over in left field for Damon, who became the primary designated hitter for the Yankees.
Beginning with that '08 season, any team with as much speed as Hannibal's elephants crossing the Alps began to take extra bases on Damon.
But now, the Braves have reportedly offered Damon a contract that would total $4 million.
Checking the Braves roster, you would find that they have some pretty good defensive outfielders.
Matt Diaz can play, and he hit .313 last season with an OPS of .878.
Nate McLouth was brought over in the Pittsburgh fire sale last year, and he is an excellent outfielder. He only hit .256 for the year, but his OPS was .788.
Melky Cabrera was obtained in the deal that sent Javy Vazquez back to the Yankees, and Cabrera is a very solid defensive outfielder with an absolute cannon for a left arm.
The Braves also have Gregor Blanco and Jordan Shafer on their 40-man roster. Eric Hinske is also there, but, in all likelihood, Hinske was signed to play at first and pinch hit. He is not an outfielder any more.
Neither is Johnny Damon.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!