Coke wishes he could call Damon

Don’t expect Phil Coke to go for a round of golf with Johnny Damon, but as a teammate with the Yankees last year, he’s a believer in the buzz about what he brings to the club.

“You have to understand something: When you have an opportunity to play on a championship team, there are a bunch of players around the league that have come together on one team whose careers speak for themselves,” Coke said. “I don’t know what your personal opinion is of Johnny, and your opinion might not match mine because you don’t know him like I do. I mean, I love Johnny. He’s an amazing person, on and off the field. It doesn’t matter where he’s at. He’s the same guy. He’s a great clubhouse guy. He’s a great dude to go hang out with, on and off the field. He’s an all-around good guy.”

Coke understands the limitations on Damon, but he also understands what’s at the heart of him.

“He still moves really good,” Coke said. “He has his struggles in the outfield, but that’s because he sacrificed himself year after year for the game. I can’t tell you I’d want anybody else in the clubhouse except for a guy like that. I’ve been told that growing up in the game of baseball — Little League, high school, junior college, guys that are willing to sacrifice themselves for the game, for the team, those are the guys you want to play with. They don’t necessarily have to be the best, but they’re going to give you everything they’ve got, every single day.”

So would he be a recruiter for the Tigers?

“I wish I had his number,” Coke said, “because I’d be like, ‘Hey, man, quit messing around.”


I guess we should try to remain positive about this whole JD issue. As I mentioned earlier he would provide some tangible energy and passion on the field, something we really need. I do hope it doesn’t get Carlos’ nose out of joint though. Would mean Kelly would likely be cut.
Lot’s of pressure and possible playing time for Ramon this year. If Sizemore flops, Everett doesn’t hit again, or Brandon struggles physically. Ramon’s switch-hitting will keep him around. Maybe it is time for him to show that MLB potential . He could bat 2nd if need be.
Another guy who could bat 2nd is Laird. I know it might be a little unorthodox to have the catcher up so high in the lineup but Laird can bunt and his bb/k ratio is actually pretty good. He might benefit from a promotion and some confidence in him being shown.
I think Larish is finished as the much-needed LHB. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a deal with him and Figaro this year.
I also think we might see Seay being dangled if Robertson shows he can pitch in the rotation.
This is a big year for the Venezuelan boys. Collectively they need to drive in 375+ runs in order for our lineup to compete with the Twins (who are vastly improved).
I think one of the players to watch this year will be Ryan Perry. He could emerge or submerge and this will be a tell-tale season for him.
I hope they take a long hard look at Boesch. He is a big boy with a big LH bat. And plays a position that is not blocked.
I’ve said this before, if they keep Avila–give him some reps at 3B. He needs to get his ABs and Inge won’t be around much longer. Not saying he should convert as I think they consider him to be the catcher of the future, especially if Laird repeats a poor offensive performance.
Wonder what Dlugach will do this year? If it were not for Polanco leaving (man we are gonna miss that guy!), they may have given him a shot at short IMO.

And Oh yes, why aren’t the Tigers showing interest in Felipe Lopez?
He’s a middle infielder, under 30, switch hitter, decent fielder, decent speed, top-of-the-order hitter, has some pop, fills a couple of needs for the team, and is far cheaper than Damon.

My take on the whole Damon thing, all kidding aside and if anyone cares, is this: Boras is unhappy with the way he handled the negotiations with the Yankees and is trying to make up for it. This has caused him to be even more tenacious than he usually is, and he’s working the White Sox angle to try to squeeze out some more dollars from Detroit. Chicago GM Kenny Williams has shown in the past that he’s more than willing to try to drive up prices for division foes. While that’s not the most admirable thing in the world, it is a good way to compete so I wouldn’t knock him for that.
I think Damon is fully prepared to sign with Detroit once his agent finishes his business, and the hoopla is just the media needing stories. Talk of “frontrunners” and “momentum” reminds me of a political campaign. I expect Damon to be signed this weekend and (hopefully) all of this will be forgotten in a few days.

Forgot one important part. The fact that nothing has happened tells me that DD is indeed sticking to his offer and waiting it out.

All I can figure there, Dan, is that they are totally committed to Sizemore. They didn’t let Polanco go just to replace him with another FA. I hope this works. As I said before, I wish they’d offered the arby.

Interesting you brought up Laird as a potential No. 2 hitter, Dan. Because Leyland mentioned Laird as a guy who’s capable of moving a runner along or bunting him over if the Tigers want to try that kind of offense. That doesn’t mean he’s a real candidate to hit second, but it means the thought probably crossed the skipper’s mind real quick.

Laird does sound like an option for the 2 hole spot. It might give him more confidence, but that’s a might big “if” and Jackson will have to be pretty fast to lead off. I will just be glad when we know exactly who is on this team. Like the Skipper said, we’ll be seeing plenty of Jackson and Sizemore in the lineups to see how they do.

We have a beautiful, sunshiny day here in MI. Almost like spring, except for the 6 inches of snow still on the ground.

Did I mention that Leyland brought up Adam Everett in the same answer?

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