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Johnny Damon Loves Octopus And The Red Wings

Is Johnny Damon getting more press as a free agent than he did with the most popular baseball team in America (the New York Yankees)?  Everyone is speculating that Damon will have to take less than the Yankees original offseason offer (speculated around 2-years, $19 million) if he hopes to play in 2010.  And he continues to be written up in major regional/national papers.  A recent, interesting write-up may be found in the Detroit Free Press.  You know it’s going to be a doozy when a story starts with the title, Johnny Damon likes Yzerman, Tigers.  Of interest to very few people, but still placed in the piece, are the following statements:

Damon has rooted for the Red Wings for years. He started doing so because of how much he likes [Steve] Yzerman. Damon’s agent, Scott Boras, talked Monday about Damon’s fervor for the Red Wings.

“When he and I go to a Greek restaurant, he always orders octopus,” Boras said.

It’s a cute line by Boras.  Boras has received some heat for saying it.  But it has given his client relevance and has made many people keep Damon on their minds.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that newspapers will print whatever Boras speaks.  Do you think that the Greek restaurant line was a smart and/or calculated play?

Personally, I mind the Greek restaurant line less than the following paragraph in the article:

“Johnny came to me about Detroit,” Boras said in a telephone interview. “He told me, ‘If I can’t play for the Yankees, I want you to let the Tigers know I want to play for them. I can make that team a winner.’ “

That particular line makes me believe that Boras and Damon are getting desperate for an offer.  To me, the line only seems to diminish Damon’s leverage in any current or future negotiations with Detroit.

I’ll close this with a great quote from Ty Duffy of,

Johnny Damon is from Orlando. His offseason home is in Windermere, Fla. I will extol Detroit’s virtues to anyone. But, no person in the history of humanity who lives in a posh part of Florida has said, “You know what? I want to spend more than half the year in Detroit.”

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Johnny Damon Loves Octopus And The Red Wings”

I can see how this will have both positive and negative effects on leverage in negotiations .

One thing that is important to understand is that Detroit is a very sensitive city. It looks like Boras understands this and is trying to get the city behind his client. I feel like us Detroiters will embrace someone at the slightest positive thing that person says, and Boras recognizes this as well.

Also, you wrote that the first quote you placed in the article is “of interest to very few people.” I would disagree considering the article was in a Detroit newspaper and written by a Detroit Free Press columnist. The quote is definitely of interest to a great many people here in Detroit and the response on sports radio here has been positive. There are few people who embody the character of Detroit better than Yzerman, and Boras/Damon know that. I feel like this was just another measly shot at the sport of hockey, which has been outplayed since 2005.

If I were Boras, and I’m serious about this, I’d have Damon driving a Ford, GM, or Chrysler immediately.

It looks like Boras knew what he was doing. The Tigs offered Damon a one-year K worth $7M and a two-year K worth $14M. The next highest offer was $4M for one year.

Apparently Illitch didn’t want to pay for a young outfielder who is already producing and still has tons of potential, but will pay for an older outfielder who is past his prime.

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