The Yankees signed veteran outfielder Randy Winn to a one-year contract today, so they have now settled on their outfield situation for 2010. This means that Johnny Damon is now 99.99% certain to be on a new team for 2010.
It now leaves the question I have always posed: once Damon gets rid of the pinstripes, will Red Sox Nation forgive him for this four-year transgression?
My feeling has always been that they will. There's a huge difference between him and that other punching bag of the Nation, Roger Clemens. Damon was always a likeable sort, a bit goofy as well. But he also was part of a World Series championship club, and as time goes on I believe most fans will realize that and welcome him back to their good graces. The way he left Boston was acrimonious and underhanded, but I think time will heal those wounds.
Clemens on the other hand will forever be ostracized by the Sox fans. His exit was classless and he never acknowledged the fans in his 1996 departure. He always came off as self-absorbed and rude, and his ripping the Red Sox fans after the 2004 World Series seemed to seal his fate in concrete. And the events of the last two years haven't helped his case any either.
I don't ever see a day when he will back in the good graces of Boston. Not ever, not even when he dies.
It will be interesting to see if Damon signs with an AL team this winter what the reaction will be on his return to Fenway Park. I bet it won't be anything like his return in those pinstripes back in May 2006.