posted on August 10, 2012 00:00
Enter The Damon
By Andy Portico
On August 29, 1985, the Cardinals acquired infielder/outfielder Cesar Cedeno from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for minor leaguer Mark Jackson. The 34 year old Cedeno was batting .241 at the time of the trade. As soon as he hit St. Louis, he became a propane fueled rocket. In 28 games, Cedeno hit .434 to go along with 6 home runs and 19 RBIs. His contributions helped propel the Cardinals past the rival Mets and into the playoffs.
A little less than 15 years later, the Cardinals traded for Baltimore Orioles first baseman Will Clark. Yes, THE Will Clark. THE Will Clark that Cardinals fans hated for years when he patrolled first base for the San Francisco Giants. As soon as “The Thrill” arrived, he won the hearts of Cardinals fans forever by putting on a show that was reminiscent of his days in Candlestick Park. In 51 games with the Cardinals, Clark hit .345 with 12 jacks and 42 RBIs. Clark’s leadership was vital in bringing out the best in J.D. Drew, which Cardinal fans didn’t see very often. If the Cardinals hadn’t run into a red hot Mike Hampton in the 2000 NLCS, perhaps the Cardinals would have been playing the Yankees in the World Series for the first time since 1964.
Here we are on August 10, 2012 and the Cardinals are five and a half games out of first and two and a half games out of a wild card spot. Yesterday, Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak got rid of the elephant in the room by shipping off shortstop Tyler Greene to Houston. Hey Tyler, just for future reference…..going forward, its probably not in your best interest to tell your fans to stay at home when you've consistently played like crap. You might actually want to bring something to the table first before making such comments.......like actually fielding your position or not getting picked off base. The move leaves the Cardinals with an open roster spot.
With a little less than two months left in the season, I propose Mozeliak call one Johnny Damon. The Cardinals need someone to spell an outfielder every so often, and Damon has played all three positions. Yes, I know he’s 38 years old and doesn’t have much left in the tank if anything. Damon hit only .222 with 4 home runs and 19 RBIs in 64 games this season with the Indians. The fact remains that Damon is a leader and he has won World Series titles in Boston and New York. He’s a career .276 hitter in the playoffs with 59 games to his credit. It also wouldn’t hurt to have some more valuable veteran leadership in the locker room. Mozeliak wouldn’t have to give up anything to get Damon to St. Louis since he is now a free agent because Cleveland wasn’t able to find a taker for him. I think Damon would welcome a chance to be in a playoff chase again and I believe Cardinals fans would welcome him with open arms.
Adding Damon to the roster certainly couldn’t hurt. The Cardinals can’t count on Lance Berkman to come back and be the Lance Berkman of 2011. If he can come in and spell Allen Craig when he returns from the DL, then he‘s done his job for 2012. The Cardinals also need to end the Shane Robinson experiment. They could sign Damon and send Robinson down to Memphis until they expand the rosters on September 1st.
Another positive of adding Damon would be another left handed bat coming off the bench. Come on Mo. Get on the phone and call Scott Boras. I know he’s a jackass, but you have found ways of dealing with him in the past. Get a deal done for Johnny Damon. Maybe you can have Cesar Cedeno and Will Clark all over again. Also, maybe he might be that sparkplug you need to get your team into the playoffs and defend your World Series crown. Bring the former Red Sox “idiot” to St. Louis.