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Thursday, September 29, 2011
Is Johnny Damon a good luck charm?


ARLINGTON, Texas -- "I'd sure like to think so," said Johnny Damon when asked if he's got a little lucky rabbit's foot in him.

The Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter is on his third American League East team. The former center fielder helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 and then two years later he unthinkably switched allegiances to the New York Yankees and won a ring in the Bronx in 2009.

Now, he's a Ray, and despite posting his lowest batting average (.261) and on-base percentage (.326) since the 2001 season with the Oakland A's, Damon has replaced some of the pop -- 16 homers and 73 RBIs -- that left when Carl Crawford signed a whopping free-agent deal with Boston, the team Tampa passed on the season's final night to win the wild card.

The Rays now look to redeem last year's ALDS loss to the Rangers in five games. Damon, who has also played for the Royals, A's and Tigers, is one of the few changes in Tampa's lineup from a year ago.

The Rays would sure like to think that Damon, 37, is some kind of good luck charm for teams out of the AL East.

The Tigers had hoped his magic would rub off on them last season.

"I felt we missed some opportunities with Detroit, heading into the All-Star Game being a half-game out because the White Sox were hot at the time, and we got the injury bug and then on and on and on," Damon said. "We had a very good team and you can see how well they're doing right now."

Detroit open their ALDS series against Damon's former Yanks.

Last year's Tigers weren't so lucky. Damon just hopes a little luck followed him back to the AL East.