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There will be no “Welcome Back” ceremony for our beloved centerfielder in 2010 as Detroit outfielder Johnny Damon has decided not to return to Boston.
Damon talked the matter over with Tigers manager Jim Leyland this afternoon, and the club and Damon came to an agreement. Damon’s biggest concern in Detroit was whether or not he was going to be getting regular playing time. After being reassured that he would be, the decision was easy for the former Sox All-Star.
“I don’t plan on waiving (the no-trade clause), Initially, I thought long and hard about it, but after going around and talking to a bunch of my teammates, they want me here, and they feel we can make a strong push — at least make this (AL) Central race interesting. That’s why I’m going to stay.” – Johnny Damon
Damon hopes to stay on a team that is still in the playoff race and he wants to stick around in the clubhouse for all of the young players he has mentored. Not to mention, he gets to stay close with his buddy Jim Leyland.
Whether it was to bolster our heavily injured roster, or just to block Tampa Bay from getting their hands on him, the Red Sox will have to move on this year without the man who helped them for four stellar seasons.
Maybe a Manny Ramirez reunion isn’t looking so bad after all.