June 3, 2007 -- BOSTON - With Jason Giambi on the disabled list, the bulk of Johnny Damon's playing time is going to come as the designated hitter. However, the Yankees are making plans to turn Damon into a jack-of-all-trades player, The Post has learned.
Spotted taking ground balls and making throws at first during batting practice yesterday at Fenway Park where he wasn't in the starting lineup, Damon was asked if he was doing it to kill time or with designs on playing there.
"He told me to work there and in the [outfield] corners," Damon said of Joe Torre. "I am going to play [first] eventually. I am OK with it."
Damon said he looked forward to moving around, but he will get most of his at-bats as the DH, especially if Melky Cabrera hits as the regular center fielder.
Damon, who is hitting .258, has played one game (last season) at first and recorded three putouts in three chances.
Normally, I take everything George King says with a grain of salt and generally roll my eyes when he comes up with some of his ridiculous rumors.
But, I think there is a bit more truth to this rumor than usual with John Phelps as the only First Baseman right now (and a bad one at that) and Damon's legs prohibiting him from playing regularly in CF.
Pfisty made this point earlier and I agree -- I can't wait to see Damon attempt a 3-6-3 double play for the first time. My guess is that he'll probably take the sure out at 1B and not risk the throw like Giambi has done for the most part the last couple of years when forced to play the field.