News that Johnny Damon will not accept a trade to the Red Sox simply reinforced what the team already knows.
No matter the obstacle, Boston will move on with what it has in-house, a fate the team has become used to in 2010.
Just listen to the captain.
"This has been who we are, and it?s been who we are all year, and we?re in the right place," said Jason Varitek on pressing on without the potential presence of Damon.
Varitek admitted he reached out to Damon in an effort to urge the one-time Red Sox center fielder to consider a return to the team. The fact that his effort went for naught caused no concerns for the catcher. As he alluded to, the club will make do with what it has.
That?s been the case since day one.
We may never know the true intent of the organization?s claim on Damon, whether it was eager to bring him back into the fold to add depth in the outfield and a proven bat, or if the Red Sox were only interested in blocking a potential claim by the Rays or Yankees.
Regardless, the end result means that Boston is what it is and what it has been from the start of the season. As Varitek said: "We?re a bunch of grinders and people that one through nine and … on the bench have faced some sort of adversity this year."
The only trades that have impacted the major league roster were made on an emergency basis. Eric Patterson was acquired from Oakland in the days after Dustin Pedroia broke his left foot, and the club needed someone to either help out at second base or play some outfield and allow Bill Hall to focus on filling Pedroia?s position.
Three days later, Kevin Cash, who was on the 2007 World Series team, was picked up in a trade with Houston. Starting catcher Victor Martinez was placed on the disabled list with a broken left thumb just 48 hours before.
The trade deadline saw a collection of cosmetic moves to upgrade the outfield and provide more depth at the catcher position, but the headline-grabbing maneuver was notably absent. In need of bullpen help, the organization continued to groom Triple-A starters Felix Doubront and Michael Bowden for relief roles they currently hold with the big club.
Essentially, the banged-up Red Sox have circled the wagons time and time again. Although Damon may have been a welcome addition for some (David Ortiz screamed "Party like a rock star!" when he heard of the Red Sox? claim), his decision to say "No" to his old team just gives them another opportunity to search within.
Not that they necessarily need answers (Boston has won five of seven on its current homestand), but the Red Sox have reason to believe there will be one on the bench, or in the minors or in the return of an injured veteran like Varitek or Pedroia.
Or it will come from the one unit that Damon likely would never influence one way or another.
"It?s come down to the same thing it has all year. We throw the ball well, we present ourselves good opportunities to win," Varitek said. "We have to continue to do that, and that?s going to be more important over this next month and week."
It is a month and a week that Boston will play without Johnny Damon and possibly no other outside sources of help, what with roster expansions coming in a week anyway. That only means one thing for the Red Sox: business as usual.