Damon's quest for 3,000 raising red flags


Damon's quest for 3,000 raising red flags

See Johnny. See Johnny run. See Johnny hit.

See Johnny talk his way out of baseball.

No, no, Johnny Damon hasn't gone that far . . . yet. But Joel Sherman of the New York Post had an interesting story today in which he quotes several executives as saying Damon's "fixation with 3,000 career hits" may be preventing some teams -- the Yankees, specifically -- from bringing him aboard as a part-time, left-handed hitting DH.

According to Sherman, these executives say Damon, who is 277 hits away from 3,000, has become less disciplined at the plate as he attempts to get hits in lieu of walks, which has caused an alarming drop in his on-base percentage (from a career mark of .355 to .326 last year). They also fear he'll become a problem in the clubhouse if "he does not get the kind of full-time at-bats he needs if he is going to reach 3,000 hits by the end of next season".

Damon apparently feels -- and probably correctly -- that 3,000 hits might just gain him admittance to the Hall of Fame. And the fear is that a player who's always been team-first might become (or might already have become) me-first at a time when his skills no longer justify a full-time role.