Johnny Damon knows a thing or two about what it’s like to trade in red socks for pinstripes. So with Kevin Youkilis reportedly set to join the Yankees one year after starting his 2012 season with the Red Sox, Damon is an expert on the subject.
Damon, who left Boston for New York just a little more than a year after helping the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004, was asked how he thought Youkilis would fit in after spending the better part of a decade with the rival Sox.
“He will be fine,” Damon told the New York Post. “Especially since Boston traded him. Now he realized it’s a business and you have to take care of yourself.”
That’s exactly what Youkilis did, reportedly agreeing to a one-year, $12 million deal with the Bombers. Damon also took care of himself following the 2005 season when he signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the Yankees, a decision that wasn’t well-received in Boston.
“[Youkilis] will fit in well,” Damon added. “The Red Sox traded him thinking they would be be better with [Will] Middlebrooks. It would be different if the Red Sox offered him a deal. It’s a good move for the Yankees and Kevin Youkilis.”
Damon also said that he feels Youkilis will fit in fine inside the Yankees clubhouse, even after spending much of his career on the other side of one of the fiercest rivalries in sports. The former Yankees outfielder also doesn’t foresee any problems with pitcher Joba Chamberlain. He and Youkilis have had some issues in past years.
“Joba gets pumped up, especially when he was a young player,” Damon told the Post.
It will be interesting to see if Damon has any advice for Youkilis on how to deal with the rivalry (booing from fans who loved him for years) from the other side of things. Then again, maybe Red Sox will take Damon’s point of view, a reasonable one to say the least, and realize that baseball is still a business when it’s all said and done.