To say that outfielder Johnny Damon still wants to play baseball is an understatement.
The 40-year-old made it clear that he still believed he was able to play at the big league level this past offseason and he has not backed off of those comments.
“When you feel you can still outhit at least half the league and you don’t get that call, it’s rough,” Damon told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday. “The biggest reason to play is to have a chance to win. Obviously, 3,000 hits would be great but winning is the reason I started playing this game. I’m going to continue to stay in shape and I’ll be ready.”
Damon’s career is well decorated. In his 18-year-career he is a career .284/.352/.433 hitter with 235 home runs and 1139 RBI.
Of course he has not played since 2012 when he hit just .222 in 64 games with the Cleveland Indians before earning an August release.
“After Cleveland, it seems like everyone said I’m finished,” Damon said. “I wanted to go to spring training, see if I have it and if the swing and the body don’t come around, walk away with that peace of mind.”
Anyone willing to take a chance on Damon will surely do so at the minor league level.