With Luke Scott gone, who will keep me captivated in the clubhouse with tales of hunting wild boar with a knife? For the record, in Scott's world, hunting without a gun is more sportsmanlike.
Last time I checked, wild boars don't carry knives, so using a blade isn't exactly fair competition, either. These are the discussions I had with the former Orioles designated hitter on a daily basis throughout his four-year tour in Baltimore.
Needless to say, I'll miss Scott and all his eccentricities.
Scott is landing in the perfect environment for him. Rays manager Joe Maddon is as eccentric as they come. I picture Maddon listening to disco music in his office before a game while Scott is 15 minutes into a conservative diatribe about gun ownership and his objection to his recent tax bill.
It's going to be a match made in LaLa Land heaven. Both men are great to be around and I know Scott will enjoy playing for Maddon.
Now that Scott is in Tampa Bay, I wonder if that makes Johnny Damon available. The 38-year-old veteran is a free agent.
Should the O's give Damon a look?
Based on his 2011 salary of $5.25 million, he won't break the Birds' bank if they sign him to a one-year deal.
Damon hit .261 with 16 homers and 73 RBIs in 2011. Those aren't exactly American League designated hitter-type numbers. I hope O's executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette is looking for a little more pop when searching for his 2012 DH. However, this late in the offseason, the herd is thinning.
Though Damon is clearly on the back end of his career, I think he still has something to offer a team like the Orioles. If you look at the O's 2011 stats, only Nick Markakis (31) and Vladimir Guerreo (30) hit more doubles than Damon (29) in 2011 and his seven triples are four more than any Oriole.
On top of that, it looks like the Birds are going to be scrambling for a leadoff hitter as it appears Brian Roberts is struggling with concussion symptoms. Though Damon isn't the quintessential leadoff man he once was and typically your DH isn't your leadoff man, he hit .294 in 37 games leading off for the Rays in 2011. Nine of his 29 doubles came when batting first in the order.
Also, Damon might do what the O's missed so badly in 2011; create a distraction on the basepaths. With Roberts gone for most of last year, opposing pitchers rarely had to hold Oriole runners because no one was a threat to steal. Robert Andino led the O's with 13 stolen bases in 2011. At 38, Damon topped that with 19.
I've mentioned before on the blog that I think the O's are starved for veteran leadership. Damon is a good clubhouse guy who knows what it takes to win a World Series. The man has two rings (2004 Red Sox, 2009 Yankees). It wouldn't hurt to have a winner around the clubhouse.
So I ask again: Should the O's give Damon a look?