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Johnny Damon eyeing MLB return in 2013?

12/07/2012 4:22 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Despite a disappointing end to 2012, ex-Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon said Thursday night that he hopes to continue hitting “Johnny Rockets” somewhere in the Major Leagues in 2013.

"I liked being home last season with my kids. But I'm in shape and if I could play, I would," Damon told the Boston Globe. “We’ll see what happens. I still think I have something left if I am used the right way."

Damon, now 39, has has played 18 years in the Majors with seven teams – including the Yankees from 2006-09 – and won two World Series rings. A career .284 hitter, Damon is just 231 hits shy of the magical 3,000 hit plateau, and he and Hall of Famer Paul Molitor are the only players in MLB history with at least 2,700 hits, 500 doubles, 100 triples, 200 home runs and 400 stolen bases.

But after posting a .261-16-73 line with the Rays in 2011, Damon became a free agent again and remained unemployed until after the start of the 2012 season.

Damon signed with Cleveland in April and made 52 starts in left field – his most games in the field since 2009 – but hit just .222 with four home runs in 224 plate appearances over 64 total games, and was released in August.

He did play for Thailand in a recent World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament, going 3-for-7 with three singles and a walk in two games and playing first base – a spot he’s manned just eight times in his 18 MLB seasons – in one of the two games; he served as the DH in the other.

Damon is in the Dominican Republic this weekend, taking part in former Boston teammate David Ortiz’s celebrity golf tournament.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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