The toughest division in baseball is where they belong. And that’s where the two will be after joining forces with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Even though Damon, 37, and Manny, 38, are at the end of their careers, having them in the AL East is good for the game. There’s an intensity that pervades the AL East which can’t be matched in the AL Central, NL West or any other division in baseball. Every game from April to October has a little more meaning in places such as Boston and the Bronx.
Putting Damon and Manny in Rays uniforms adds a whole new level of intrigue to the East. Maybe that’s part of Scott Boras‘ master plan to conquer the world. Maybe Tampa Bay was the only team willing to pay each veteran more than the league minimum.
Whatever the reason, Damon and Manny are back in the Beast.
They will be coming to Fenway Park nine times in 2011 and playing the Red Sox 18 games.
They will be stopping by Yankee Stadium nine times and facing the Yankees 18 games.
They will be making trips to both Baltimore and Toronto.
Joe Maddon isn’t complaining. Neither is Bud Selig.
The former Red Sox stars are smart pickups for the Rays. They might be past their “Cowboy Up” days, but at the very least, Damon and Manny will put fans in the seats at Tropicana Field.
That means a lot more cowbell.