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Next Season Factored Into Damon's Decision To Stay Put

While Johnny Damon considers the Tigers still in the hunt for the playoffs, sticking in Detroit also played into a factor for where he'll be playing in 2011:

"The tough thing about it is there are no guarantees of where I’ll be next year," said Damon. "As much as I would love to be back here next year, that’s something the team doesn’t really decide on until possibly the off-season. I’m OK with it.

“I know going to Boston probably could have helped out my free agency. But so be it. I felt like, when we started this season, this team was all together in our thought process. We’re going to win and lose together. We’re going to continue that. We’re going to go out there and keep playing hard. These kids are going to keep learning and, hopefully, we can keep going."

Damon's relationship with his teammates also played a key role:

Damon is very close to manager Jim Leyland and the younger players like Austin Jackson, who he's mentored. The Tigers have never been a team that's cared about saving money as owner Mike Ilitch has spent lots of it to get the best team possible in Detroit. The Tigers could have told Damon he would be relegated to spot duty so they could save about $1.8 million, but they didn't.