Former Boston Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon had a good baseball career, but he made some strange comments about it to an Orlando radio station Thursday.
Damon was insistent that he never used performance enhancing drugs in his career, which is great, but he was also insistent that it essentially got him kicked out of the game.
“I played it clean,” Damon told CBS Sports radio’s David Baumann and Big Joe. “That’s what everybody’s going to be looking at. 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 also expressed his frustration with the fact that players receive a “slap on the wrist” for using PEDs and how that may affect his Hall of Fame chances.
“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.”
He definitely has a point, but to say that he’s “one of the only players” to be frustrated by this and that he was “booted” from baseball because of it is isn’t exactly true.
Damon was great in his prime, but he posted a .222 batting average with a .281 on-base percentage and .329 slugging percentage in his final season of baseball at the age of 38. Even some of the best players who are widely assumed to have been clean — think Cal Ripken Jr. and Ken Griffey Jr. — posted subpar numbers in their final years.
His frustrations are merited, but he’s certainly not an anomaly in baseball.
Photo via Twitter/@Cut4