One has to think at this point David O'Brien of the AJC may have already bought stock in Johnny Damon the way he is pushing the outfielder on Atlanta fans. The latest volley comes from a rather innocuous quote:
"I hope. They are definitely a team that is on top of the list," Damon said in a text message to the Journal-Constitution when asked if he had reason to think or hope the Braves would make him a competitive offer.
Are we really at the top of the list? Is that a list of two, maybe three teams? We've heard these intentions in players before, quite recently in fact, from the ghost of the 2008-2009 off-season. Of course, this quote could have been given in an effort to exact leverage from other teams who may be interested in Damon.
When I was at last Friday's Braves Caravan Q&A session with John Schuerholz and Frank Wren, the issue of Damon came up, and like the Bruce Manno quotes in the AJC article, both of them hedged on whether or not they were interested in Damon. Perhaps telling, though, is that the moderator, Don Sutton, really scoffed and made fun of Damon as a power hitter, sort of dismissing him when repeating the fan's question.
Who knows what the Braves or Damon are really thinking. Until then keep your horse bats handy.