D-Train plays recruiter for Damon

On one hand, if you believe Johnny Damon’s statements that Detroit is where he wanted to play all along once he knew he wasn’t heading back to the Yankees, then he shouldn’t have needed much recruiting from Dontrelle Willis. On the other hand, he did call Dontrelle Willis.

Yes, Dontrelle Willis became a recruiter for Damon, even if he didn’t intend to be.

Willis and Damon know each other from Team USA at the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He wasn’t the only player Damon knew on the Tigers; he knows Phil Coke from the Yankees last year, but Coke didn’t have his phone number.

So he called Willis. Damon wanted to ask someone on the club how players and fans would react to his arrival.

“After I got off the phone with him, I was like, ‘This is going to work,'” Damon said. “And we’re expecting bigger things from him. He’s obviously going to battle to get back to form. And even he said, ‘This is a great place to play, you’re going to enjoy it.’ Said all the right things to me, and I was like, ‘Wow.’

“Scott [Boras] called me about two minutes after that and asked if we were good to go. And I said, ‘Absolutely.'”


willis is trash and thank god it was only a 1 year deal i cant wait for dontrelle willis to leave the team he is the biggest joke on the team and a waste of $ for the price we paid for him as far as damon goes it might go well but on the other hand why would his wife say is there any other place to go besides detroit wow thats like a slap in the face we get rid of granderson for prospect’s and then snag damon along with them when the yankess said he was a free agent but i know we needed some one cause of palonco leaving us but wow who is willis to say anything about the trade

Agreed Willis is worthless. And I’m hearing alot of people say they should’ve just kept Granderson. Wrong. Granderson struck out way too much, and couldn’t hit lefties. Damon is a proven winner, who can hit lefties and righties. He’s going to be a great addition at the top of the lineup. My only concern with Damon is his arm, it’s pretty bad. But this clearly looks like a great move for the offense.

Hey jtp140 – I have one word for you… punctuation. Really, it will help express your opinion a lot better than that blob of words you wrote. ;^)
All kidding aside, I think Damon is a good pick up for the Tigers. They needed a top of the lineup guy and he’s a pretty good one. Yes his arm is a concern, but I think Guillen’s is too. At least Damon doesn’t have a long history of injuries. I will say I was a bit pessimistic at first, but I’m warming up to this lineup now, even though Sizemore still has me a little worried.

Willis is a human being, not trash or worthless. Let’s keep this blog civil, if not perfect English. I understand the frustration, but try to keep it under control, folks.

I don’t see how, as a Tigers fan, anyone can sit here and absolutely tear apart another human being like that. Has Willis worked out for us? No. But who would know better than him what the reaction to Damon might be? Detroit is a place with very loyal fans–Comerica Park was roaring with excitement and hope for Willis to do well. I guess I just don’t understand how WE(just regular, loyal fans) know more than the management of the Tigers. Relax, sit back, and see what happens. They just might suprise you!

I think Damon was a smart move. He has experience of the game and has played with winning ball clubs, he still has speed and some power to boot. As much as I loved Granderson–he struggled with left handed pitchers, he wasn’t a typical leadoff guy but didn’t succeed well at all lower in the lineup… I absolutely think Dombrowski made the right move in trading him.

I can’t wait for Opening Day! Go Tigers!

agreed Willis isn’t trash. Might not have a lot of value right now. His arm is still there…. He just needs to get the mental part back. If can do that. The Tigers pitching gets that much deeper….
As for Damon… it’s a one year contract and we certainly needed somebody at the top of the order. If he has a good year and the Tiger’s are out of it…. He becomes trade bait…

That first post had me worried but the rest of you came through like true Tiger fans. Thanks folks. Dontrelle Willis is a good guy, a real good guy. I think the vast majority root hard for him to get his pitching form back, and share the disappointment when it doesn’t happen. All I can figure is that his larger adult body doesn’t translate into the pitching style he used as a youngster. It would be great to have him as a contributing member of the team.
I finally got through the entire video of yesterday’s presser. I thought Johnny poured it on a tad thick but I don’t doubt that he’s very happy to be here. When he says he’s always wanted to join the Tigers, I believe him. I’ll again mention him watching the ’06 ALDS celebration. As a professional, he had to ensure that this was the right place for him at this point in time.
By the way, there’s a no trade clause, so Damon won’t be deadline trade bait. In fact, there’s a possibility he could be here next season too. You never know, as we’ve learned all too well this offseason.

Willis is not the first pitcher to lose command and control after being a star. How many player actual admit to the press that their performance was terrible. He still looks like he is having fun and I hope he can get back to the pitcher he was in his early twenties.
Damon with the Tigers next year? We can only hope, since that will mean he does well and the Tigers win.
Sizemore has looked good at the plate everytime I have seen him and if his ankle is solid he will hit.
I am looking forward to a mid-March trip to Spring Training.

I admit, when I first read the comments about his wife, I was offended, too, but we have to face reality – Detroit has ALWAYS had a bad reputation. Michigan has been in a bad way for so long, it’s reasonable to expect people to continue to be apprehensive about coming here. It always takes actually being here for guys (and families) to realize what a great thing it is to play for Detroit fans and live in Michigan – that’s the way it goes.

And let’s be fair – after living in Boston and New York City, Chicago would have to sound more appealing to a socialite than Detroit. We really can’t fault her for that – we’ll just have to show her how great it can be to live in Michigan and be a part of the Olde English D tradition!

I also want to echo the second round of comments about the D-Train. He hasn’t produced on the field, but NOBODY on the team has complained about him, because he’s a GREAT guy – yeah, as a fan, he’s a huge disappointment, but things happen – at least he’s still there, talking and answering questions and trying – it’s not like he’s shut it down to just cash the checks – he’s still trying. Bash the player, not the man.

I will go a step further regarding the comments on Dontrelle – THAT IS UNCALLED FOR. He isn’t succeeding for a lack of trying – he has always been known as a good guy and a guy with work ethic, he just lost it. If you want to be mad and have distain for someone and blame someone blame Dave Dombrowski for signing him to that extension before he ever threw a pitch and for not doing his homework on him. That is were this all went wrong.

if the tigers drop out of the playoff chase, damon probably will be trade bait. the no trade clause is curious. tigers could still trade him but he would have to approve it or has some list of pre approved teams.

damon said all the right things at his press conference, which you’d expect a vet to do. had a hard time paying attention though…i was seriously distracted by the skull and crossbones ring bling on his right hand ha ha

I’m still hoping Dontrelle gets his magic back, but am not holding my breath. ST will determine if he has anything left in the tank.
I thought maybe that ring Damon had on was his WS ring and wondered how they could design such a weird thing. It looked like a helmet and 2 bats across it. Scull and crossbones? I should have known.
It is rough coming to Michigan and especially Detroit. Even when I go there I’m still shocked at all the empty buildings downtown. But Comerica is a wonderful ballpark. Last summer I had seats in RF and Clete Thomas was right in front of me. Oh, I can hardly wait for baseball to start.

CSX had a Damon interview with Ken Calvert (there’s a blast from my past) and they talked about his walkup music. Kid Rock has the inside track for local stuff but, up until last week, Johnny’s tune could have been from Alice Cooper. “I’m 18 and I don’t know what I want.” 🙂


How bout this tune by Toots and the Maytals…it would seem to fit JD’s laid back, skateboard riding, skull and crossbones bling wearing self.

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