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Detroit Tigers' Johnny Damon Is Earning His $8 Million

Adam Biggers@@AdamBiggers81Senior Analyst IIMay 1, 2010

DETROIT - MAY 01:  Johnny Damon #18 of the Detroit Tigers is hit with shaving cream after thitting a ninth inning walk off home run to give the Tigers a 3-2 win over the  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the game on May 1, 2010 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Detroit Tigers fans remember Curtis Granderson.

Don't they?

Granderson was ushered off to New York in a multi-player deal, and the former fan-favorite is now a distant memory to the MoTown faithful.

In exchange for Granderson in the three-team merry-go-round, the Tigers received Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke.

And the Arizona Diamondbacks got shafted.

Jackson and Coke have panned out, to say the least. Jackson went 5-for-5 Friday, and added a round-tripper. Coke has been nothing short of spectacular, and leads the American League's best bullpen.

Contrary to popular belief, the Granderson trade was not the biggest offseason transaction. Snagging the 36-year old, 16-year veteran Johnny Damon for the bargain basement price of $8 million a year was.

Yes, you heard right.

Eight million dollars a year for the former Royal, Athletic, Yankee and Red Sock had Detroit super-fans up in arms.

Some were for the acquisition.

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And the opposition?

Well, they stayed put, with their feet in concrete—with an emphatic "No way, Dave (Dombrowski)."

After Damon's walk-off jack (first of the year) Saturday in the Tigers' 3-2 win over the Angels, it's safe to say that his naysayers are now on board. The "I was for the Damon-deal all along. I swear," will be heard around offices nationwide.

Don't call them out.

Now, they're glad to have the grizzled, World Series champion, veteran swinging a bat for the Olde English "D."

And how about that 300-foot rocket to Gerald Laird to stop Hideki Matsui dead in his tracks? The play kept the game tied 2-2, and likely saved it.

Vintage Damon.

Just a few months ago, his arm was compared to a noodle. "He's too old," and "he's got nothing left in his tank," is what they said.

Now is the chance for the anti-Johhny contingent to eat its words.

He's hitting well above .300, and is amongst team leaders in run production, with 12 runs driven in.

Is he worth the hefty sum of $8 million annually?

If you were unsure, go ahead and watch Fox Sports Detroit's replay of Saturday's duel with Fernando Rodney's Angels—it might just change your mind.

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