Boras sees openings for [Johnny] Damon. The Yankees could use a DH type. The Orioles signed Wilson Betemit, but please . . . Betemit, who hit eight homers with two teams, over Damon, who hit 16 homers for Tampa Bay?So Nick's entire argument for Damon's DH potential is that he hit twice as many home runs last year as (please) Betemit. Unfortunately for his readers, Nick did not take 30 seconds out of his entire week to find some extremely basic stats:
Damon Betemit Home Runs 16 8 Plate Appearances 647 359 PA/HR 40.4 44.9 Slugging Percentage .418 .452And even though he was at the plate nearly twice as many times as Betemit, Damon hit only seven more doubles (29-22).
I am currently reading a book about a father weathering the Mitchell report/steroids scandal with his 7-year-old baseball-obsessed son, trying to explain what is going on. At one point, the kid looks at a baseball card, and sees that a guy's HR totals have dropped from the high 40s to 20 or fewer and asks his father if this guy was on the juice but then stopped. To the kid, roids = HR. The dad notes that the player in question was hurt a lot and did not play in as many games in those seasons. The kid apparently did not look at games played or at-bats, just home run totals.
Cafardo's quick look at home runs - WOW, Damon hit twice as many (OMG!!) - and seeming ignorance of relative playing time reminded me of that young boy. I am not criticizing the kid; he's only seven and is just learning about baseball. But that's the level the great Globe Sunday Baseball Notes column has sunk to.