Believe It Or Not, Johnny Damon Might Get Hall of Fame Consideration
On the downside: He's only a .288 lifetime hitter and has never been in the Top 10 in MVP voting. Also, Damon has been selected for only two All Star games. What will help him are all those postseason appearances with the Red Sox and the Yankees. And playing on the East Coast like that, especially with the Yankees.
Damon has been equally solid during the postseason - and hit two home runs in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS when the Red Sox completed an improbable comeback from down three games to none to beat the Yankees.
Twenty-seven players have had 3,000 hits. Only three are not in the Hall of Fame. All-time hits leader Pete Rose - because he is not eligible because of his betting scandal - and Rafael Palmeiro and Craig Biggio, who haven't been retired five years.
Palmeiro's steriod suspension - after he emphatically said did use them in front of Congress - figures to hurt his chances badly. Biggio was a .281 lifetime hitter - and on the same borderline Damon may eventually be on.
Damon won't turn 37 until the fall. He does have a shot at 3,000 career hits - and subsequently the Hall of Fame.
- Mike Modano can still play. That was obvious watching him last season. He is still an extraordinary skater. The issue is whether he wants to play. Modano has no value to the Red Wings if his heart isn't into playing.
- The rumored LeBron James Hour on ESPN Thursday is remindful of "Barry On Barry," the worst production by ESPN since Tom Sizemore played Rose in the biopic, "Hustle."
- From a should-have-been perfect game to the minor leagues. How fickle is fame? Armando Galarraga to the minor leagues is stunning. He is the Tigers' fifth starter? Thought that was Andrew Oliver, technically a first-year pro, who was in Double-A ball the night Galarrga nearly became the 21st pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game.
Oliver will start Sunday against the Twins - the last game before the All-Star break. Obviously, the Tigers want a lefty to start that game, considering the Twins have such formidible left-handed bats as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Denard Span and Jason Kubel. Left-handed hitters are batting just .222 against Oliver in his three major league starts.