February 18, 2006


Is he a Johnny-come-lately?: Crisp rejects that notion, saying he'll be his own man for Red Sox (Chris Snow, February 18, 2006, Boston Globe)

''I'm not interested," Francona said, ''in Johnny Damon-Coco Crisp comparisons. I don't think it's pertinent or fair."

It is probably neither, which is why you won't hear the Red Sox manager, general manager, or equipment manager suggest the following: Crisp is becoming Damon, only quicker than Damon did.

Crisp reported to camp yesterday, several days ahead of schedule, marking the beginning of the Year 1 A.D. (After Damon), and his persona and career ascent, juxtaposed against those of the 25 members of the 2005 Red Sox, most closely resembles . . . Damon's.

Crisp has 1,626 major league at-bats, and in that time has accomplished the following: .287 average, .332 on-base percentage, .424 slugging percentage, 35 home runs, 176 RBIs, 54 stolen bases, 29 times caught stealing.

Damon, through 1,623 major league at-bats, amassed these totals: .272 average, .326 OBP, .395 slugging, 29 homers, 157 RBIs, 65 steals, 25 times caught stealing.

Damon, in his second, third, and fourth major league seasons, steadily increased his home run totals (6 to 8 to 18), doubles (22 to 12 to 30), and OPS (.680 to .723 to .779). Crisp's home run totals have increased quicker (3 to 15 to 16), and so have his doubles (15 to 24 to 42) and OPS (.655 to .790 to .810).

Crisp reached what appears to be his cruising altitude of roughly .300-15-70 in his third season. Damon got there in his fourth year.

The equally alluring comparison is in the people, not the players. Both are loquacious, both are bemused by and responsive to media inquiries, and each is as defined by his disposition as his position.

The comparison is most unfair to Mr. Damon, who's 33 this year and has a bum throwing arm.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Damon's main job with the Yanks will be to get to more balls than Bernie or his stand-ins did a year ago. How well Cashman did in shoring up the middle relief corps will probably determine how much his liability throwing the ball is noticed during the regular season.

Posted by: John at February 18, 2006 11:18 AM

While Damon never had a good arm, I think his terrible year in the field last season was the product of playing hurt. I'm hoping he'll bounce back if he's healthy.

I think a good comparison is to Jeter. In the 2003 season he was absolutely dreadful at ss, perhaps the worst in the league. Yankee fans were not happy when they got Arod and moved him to third. But Jeter had played hurt thru 2003, and came back n 04-05 with his two best season in the field.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 18, 2006 12:21 PM