Signing Johnny Damon as a free agent from the Boston Red Sox makes you hate the New York Yankees even more, doesn't it?

Tell the truth. These days, the Bronx Bombers in their pin-stripe uniforms have become even more despised than the Dallas Cowboys were in their hay days when they won a lot of games.

The Yankees needed someone to fill the "Captain's," (Bernie Williams'), position in centerfield and Damon, now clean shaven with the long hair gone, was available.

The word out of New York is the Yankees are going to keep Williams as a backup outfielder and I also expect he will make one heck of a designated hitter should he be put in that position.

Personally, I fail to see what the hatred is all about.

The purpose of any sporting competition is to win and as long as a team and its players abide by the rules and don't cheat, use illegal equipment or tactics, bribe officials or take drugs, what's the problem with a team owner spending a ton of money to put the best possible lineup on the field?

Our graphic designer, Sierra Stafford, even though she said: "I hate the Yankees with every fiber in my core," remarked last year she could pitch underhand and win 15 games with the hitters they had in the lineup and things are looking even better this season.

With Damon now on board, Jeter can be moved down to the second spot in the batting order followed by Gary Sheffield (they will get him resigned, trust me) with A-Rod hitting cleanup.

Matsui will bat fifth followed by Giambi and or the designated hitter, (flip-flopped depending on if a right-or-left-handed-pitcher in on the mound for the opposition), Jorge Posada hits eighth and Robinson Cano ninth.

Those guys are nine tough outs top to bottom, probably the toughest in major league baseball.

The Red Sox continue to make changes and shuffle players around in an effort to find the right combination. Manny Ramirez wants out of Bean Town and the latest rumor is he supposed to be traded in a "block buster" four-team deal.

Ramirez was supposed to be going to Baltimore in an even-up trade for Miguel Tejada, but that deal reportedly fell through.

Instead, Ramirez and Danny Baez will be on the Mets' roster, Tejada will go to Boston, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays will get Matt Clement from Boston in the deal and shortstop Julio Lugo will go to Baltimore.

Even with all the trades, there is still nobody in the American League East Division who will be able to challenge the Yankees for the pennant.

If you haven't guessed I'm a Yankees fan, always have been. Sorry 'bout that, I guess you can hate me too.

Just don't throw rotten vegetables in my direction when I'm wearing my Staten Island Yankees minor league hat at a Grant Union baseball game. My "lid" is probably the only one like it in town.


On another baseball-related topic, did ya hear that former Grant Union head baseball coach Art Thunell is now a sales representative for Kimmel Athletic?

From what I hear, he's doing well.

You can bet your last money coach will do just as bang-up a job working for Kimmel just as he did coaching the Prospectors, but I expect he won't be sweeping dirt in front of home plate.


As requested; well, maybe not requested but sorely needed, it's bash the Blazers time once again.

Honestly, was anybody expecting an immediate reversal of fortune for the Jail Blazers this year?

If you did, the police need to make contact with you regarding possible drug abuse.

The roster has been drastically altered since last season and the team has adopted one of the "tried and true" solutions for improvement - a "youth movement," but all this has accomplished is make the win-loss record worse than it was at the same time last year.

The "Spin Doctors" in Portland's Public Relation's Office are promoting the idea of patience by the fans and the famous "things will get better with time," but fans aren't the most patient people in the world and how many other NBA teams went to a youth movement years ago and still aren't any good?

Some things with the Blazers never change.

Ruben Patterson had an altercation with coach Nate McMillan who, by the way, was fined $15,00 for verbal abuse of a referee at a game in Minnesota, and was sent home from the team's first road trip of the season.

Apparently Patterson is back in "good graces" and has since returned to the lineup.

Heck, they can't trade the guy so they might as well play him. Who wants a wife beating, undertalented, overpaid player that can't get along with anybody?

Zach Randolph, another player the Blazers pay a ridiculous salary to, doesn't want to play the position they had him designated for so he is supposedly also in "the dog house." Trade rumors are swirling about him being dealt to Boston, but the Blazers have to keep him on the floor in the interim. He's about the only one scoring in double figures these days.

The bottom line is the Blazers' front office, in particular owner Paul Allen, has to make a major reevaluation of what direction they want the team to go.

A below .500 record heading into the new year under a coach with McMillan's talent doesn't get it and it sure doesn't put fans in the seats at the Rose Garden.

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