DH Johnny Damon is serious about wanting to return to the Rays, but he wasn't beyond joking Saturday that he and executive VP Andrew Friedman could end up a package deal.
“I haven’t even talked to them just because our GM is a free agent,” Damon told the Boston Globe. “He’s not going to sign me and then leave. If he goes to Houston, his hometown, he’s going to try and bring me along with him. That’s where my waiting game is.''
Friedman is not likely to go to the Astros, who last week received permission to talk to him. And Damon, while playing in the David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic in the Dominican Republic, said he doesn't want to go anywhere either.
"Tampa was perfect for me,'' he said. "Being around those coaches — George Hendricks, Dave Martinez and (manager) Joe Maddon — it’s amazing. They loved the fact that I was there. They said they never had a veteran guy like me around and hopefully I’m around for a few more years.”
Damon had a few other interesting comments to our buddy Pete Abraham of the Globe:
* On former Red Sox manager Terry Francona: “Terry Francona is a Hall of Fame manager. I loved playing for him. I wish I could have played for him more years. I’m glad he’s taking this year off because I know how tough playing in Boston and managing in Boston is. He deserves to take a break.”
* On Ortiz's considering going to the Yankees: “Shoot, I was trying to tell him if he went to New York his 30 home runs turns into 40. He still has a great chance to win. I’m happy I got to experience both sides [of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry]. Both sides were very incredible for me. What people don’t understand is that there’s a business part of it. As a player, I wish I could have been in Kansas City my entire career. But once you get traded, you get to thinking and you accept whatever comes your way and you try and make whatever team you’re on better. David can do that. As a baseball fan, I would love to see him stay in Boston. But being a part of it, I know there may be some opportunities and less drama elsewhere.''
- Marc Topkin, Times staff writer