Jan. 28, 2010
Randy Winn probably woke up this morning and wondered if he was dreaming. As a nearly direct result, Rajai Davis own dream could soon turn into a nightmare.And theyll both have Johnny Damon to thank.Dumped by a team that failed to make the 2009 playoffs after one of the worst years of his largely productive 10-year career, Winn signed Wednesday with the 2009 world champions for 2 million dollars.The Yankees are favored to win it all again in 2010, you know, so far as landings go, thats about as soft as they come. And good for Winn. He wasnt a very good player for the Giants last season, but he was a good Giant in general. He should be remembered fondly as a class act who played hard and treated fans well.That brings us to the man Winn is replacing in Gotham: Damon. Damon, too, is a class act who plays hard and treats fans well. Hes a better player than Winn, but his agent, Scott Boras, priced himself out of the Yankees range.I cant believe I just wrote those words, but its true. Damon was too expensive for the Yankees.Now Damons asking price is dropping considerably, and it could end up affecting yet another class act who plays hard and treats fans well.Rajai Davis.Davis, remember, was a revelation during the second half of last season. He almost single-handedly made the As watchable with his speed, hustle and omnipresent smile, and it was a heck of a story because hed been cut by -- full circle alert! -- the Giants in early 2008.So heading into the offseason, he seemed a safe bet to start in center field for the As in 2010. He was a safe bet to start even after the Coco Crisp signing.Rajai Davis, Opening Day starter in the big leagues. He liked the sound of that.Oh yeah, man, he told me last month, the enthusiasm, pride and joy pouring from the phone. I like the sound of that a lot!Suddenly, its starting to look like he might not get to hear it. The As have been interested enough in Damon to have some substantial conversations, and for the right price theyll pull the trigger and make him their starting left fielder, moving Davis to the bench.Damon doesnt seem like a great fit in Oakland, where he struggled in 2001. He hits a lot of foul balls, and a lot of foul balls are outs in Oakland. He has a terrible arm, and a DamonCrisp combo would make the Coliseum's left-center gap every bit as inviting to triples as right-center is at AT&T.But Damon is a better all-around player than Davis, who still has to prove that the final three months of last season werent a fluke. Damon doesnt have to prove anything. His rings and numbers speak for themselves.Sadly, in this strange three-headed saga, there cant be a win-win-win. Theres just a Winn, a proven winner (Damon), and Davis, whos but a signature away from taking a very tough loss.-- Mychael Urban
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