....."We wanted this to happen," said Damon, who will make $5.25 million in base salary with a bonus tied to attendance to play left field and bat first or second in the order. He will receive a $150,000 attendance bonus if the Rays draw 1.75 million to the Trop and an additional $150,000 for 1.85 million, 1.95 million, 2.05 million and 2.15 million.....
.... Damon talked about how he and Ramirez are in better shape than a lot of the younger players in the major leagues. To prove it, Damon said he is willing to take off his shirt and flex. "My body is my temple," Damon said.
So the language is "draw... to the Trop." Ironically, Manny might be the draw! Still, tickets sold, not necessarily bodies in seats, but if Damon's going to go around flaunting his holy body, you might see fans ramp up. If you flex it, they will come!
Update 2/4: Andy said Clemens and attendant circus had absolutely nothing to do with his decision. Okay. I'll go with what he says. He thought about it though, even just to figure where you might have to be when.
Update 2/10: I think we're going to see him again... wouldn't he be great as the Rays closer? Heheheh
Still surprised when these two stories broke on the same day?
1. Clemens Waives Any Conflict Involving Attorney. This is about when Roger 'n' Andy had the same lawyer for a couple of days, then Andy got his own, but Roger still has the one they shared and he's going to be allowed to cross-examine Andy at Roger's trial, because Andy says Roger told him he was taking roids and Roger says Andy mis-remembers the conversation. So, put that together with family matters, pulled groin, elbow fears, and a team that does not include ClifFlea in its rotation and you have one poignantly-memorable freakin' Ace. Like here and here.
I was really enjoying looking at the new incarnation of the Rays depth chart -- holy cow! What a great starting rotation, great guys on the field, nice bullpen, awesome DH options, and they're already making Damon the lead-off hitter like I suggested. (Andrew, we could use a closer!!)
If you look closely, you'll see that Boston has a pretty good team with a pretty good pitching staff. They'll be the guys to beat this year. Yankees have a great fielding team and a potentially great bullpen, with incredible closers. It's the starting pitchers we're concerned with. Blue Jays had that incredible spoiler run last year with all the HRs, but they are not mega-threats. Now the Orioles have peeled off a wad of bills this year and bought some really good players to go with their young phenoms; if they all get together and act like a team, they could do some damage in the A.L. East. I'm picking Sox and Rays, but with injuries, it could easily go Rays and Sox.
Cash-man was talking in the Times today about Yanks being the Wild Card team behind the Sox, but that is not going to happen. He tactfully did not mention the Rays because he knows his team is going to have to climb over them again and again this season and he plain loses his appetite when he sees David Price as the Rays #1 ace. This is going to be one interesting season. I noticed that Carlos is lost over there in Cubsville, Garza yeah, but not much else, and playing for the losingest team. Too bad....