Johnny Damon played 18 seasons in the major leagues and boasts numbers that some may suggest earn him consideration for Cooperstown. However, Damon believes he could have played even longer after telling an Orlando radio station during a recent interview that he was ousted from baseball because he refused to take PEDs.
“I played it clean,” Damon said. “I think I’m one of the only players to come out and say, ‘I guarantee you there is nothing I’ve done that enhanced my baseball career.’”
Damon then went on to say:
“You can’t fault someone who has a chance to make $20 million, $50 million, $100 million for going against the system to get to where they are,” Damon said. “You can’t fault them, but I’m as clean as they came and I got booted out of the game because I’m clean.”
While Damon's comments have some merit, it's hard to legitimately justify his stance of being kicked out of the game for not using PEDs, while the majority of other players were, allegedly. In 2012, Damon batted just .222/.281/.329 in 64 games for the Indians, which was well below his career norm and well below the average replacement player. It goes without saying, but any player who lasts nearly two decades in MLB and is roughly 40-years-old when they're done is a statistical marvel. Damon had more than a fair shake in the league and to his credit he capitalized for a very long time. But to claim he was booted from the league because other players were juicing, especially post-2005, is for a lack of better term, ludicrous.
You can listen to Damon's interview right here.
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