I only covered Johnny Damon for about a month in the playoffs, but he’s an instantly likable personality, and the other New York writers seem to always enjoy saying hello to him. Today Damon said he was never close to coming back to the Yankees this winter, but he spoke pretty highly of his time in pinstripes.
“My time in New York was nothing but great,” he said. “I loved every minute of it. I loved going back there. I loved a bunch of the players over there, the coaching staff, the way the organization is. It’s going to be four years I’m always going to remember. Now it’s time for me to help my home team win a championship. It’s been a long time coming for me to have this opportunity to come play for Tampa, so I’m excited about it.”
Here are a few notes and links to wrap up the day.
• At this point I’m guessing we won’t hear anything definitive on Francisco Cervelli until tomorrow. His MRI results are being reviewed by team doctors in New York.
• Nice story by Dan Barbarisi about the Yankees rallying around Red Sox first-base coach Ron Johnson, whose daughter lost her leg in a terrible accident. Johnson used to be Kevin Long’s manager in the minors.
• Great interview with VP of baseball operations Mark Newman. There’s a lot of good stuff about the Yankees minor league system in there, including some notes about guys who could very well make the big league roster this year.
• Writing for Baseball America, George King notes that Brandon Laird could put himself into the big league mix at some point this season as a power hitter who can play all four corners.
• Speaking of Baseball America, they’re reporting that the Yankees have signed 1B Nick Ebert, a non-drafted free agent out of South Carolina.
• Yankees single-game tickets go on sale Saturday morning.
Sorry, went to the wrong page on Yankees.com. Single game tickets are on sale March 11 at this link. Saturday’s ticket thing is for season tickets.
Associated Press photo of Damon