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Top O' The Order: A random run-in with Johnny Damon's wife

Big League Stew

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A few quick links to start your day ...

• Spring training's a small world. For example, BLS contributor Nick Friedell was out at the Yankees-Astros game in Kissimmee on Monday and ran into Michelle Damon, wife of the Bronx's Yankees. Nick struck up a conversation and then wrote a little about the chance spring training meeting, which I'm excerpting here in Top O' The Order:

Writes Nick:

I introduced myself and we had a nice conversation about the differences between spring games in Florida and regular season games in the Bronx.

"It's kind of like practice, it's still fun" Michelle said of attending the laid-back spring games. "Real games are fun as well, but [spring games] are not as much pressure, I guess."

Johnny feels the same way. "He loves it," she said of her husband's attitude towards the exhibition contests. "Especially now, he's close [The Damons' off-season home is located in Orlando, just a short drive from the Astros' complex in Kissimmee and the Yankees' complex in Tampa], so he can just drive from home ... You have six more weeks at home, it's fun."

As we continued our conversation, Michelle's husband spent some time signing autographs for fans near the fence during the game, and I started to understand where she was coming from. "That's what you want," Mrs. Damon said as she waited with some friends and family. "You want a lot of fans, to want to have the chance to talk to him, and he's always been good with everyone ... the day you wouldn't be happy is when there's nobody standing there for him."

• Did Evan Longoria have the best-ever rookie season by a third baseman? RJ says a strong case can be made for our man. [DRaysBay]

• Mets fans are already piecing together contingency plans on the chance that Johan Santana's elbow escalates into a full-blown disaster. Paul Byrd, anyone? [Mets Geek]

• MLB 2K9 was released at midnight today. Here's an early review. [F Hire Jim Essian]

• Tim Dierkes takes a look at the 45 worst contracts in baseball. [Spring Training '09]

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