Red Right 88

Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

Damon out; free fall continues for the Tribe

The Cleveland Indians designated 38-year-old Johnny Damon for assignment on Friday, one day after doing the same with 39-year-old Derek Lowe.

Maybe the two of them can talk about it while enjoying the early bird at phase three of the Del Boca Vista condos.

The Tribe signed Damon in mid-April and he hit .222 in 64 games with the team while playing an entertaining (but not always in a good way) left field.

“We had to make a tough decision,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “Johnny is just first class. He made an impact on a lot of people here, despite not performing the way he was expecting and how we were expecting. I can only imagine how much impact he could’ve made here if he would’ve performed better.”

We’ll give Acta the benefit of the doubt here and assume he is just saying something nice. Because is this was really a touch decision for team officials to make, then things are a lot worse than they appear.

“We kept having those guys (Damon and Lowe) go out there hoping that things would turn around,” Acta said. “It just never happened. Nothing would have made us happier than having them work out.”

The off-season deal for Lowe was somewhat defensible – the Braves were paying $10 million of his salary, the Indians needed a pitcher who could possibly eat innings – and those are the only kind of deals a team like the Indians can make. But Damon never made sense from the beginning as his numbers have been in decline since 2008.

The Indians are sitting in third place after Friday night’s beating at the hands of Detroit, 8.5 games out of first. They have lost seven in a row and have been outscored 58-19 during the losing streak. The team is 6-15 since the All-Star break. Since Acta’s first season as manager in 2010, the Indians are a combined 20 games under .500 in the second half of the season.

It’s over, Johnny. In more ways than one.

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