Johnny Damon: Judge makes Yanks ‘scary’ in postseason

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Johnny Damon won World Series titles with both the Yankees and Red Sox, and he said the current Yankees’ team has a chance to go all the way.

“These guys are starting to play very well,” Damon said Friday. “All they need to do is get in. I think they can be scary.”

And there’s one main reason why.

“I really like [Aaron] Judge,’’ Damon said. “He’s handled himself very well, even through his struggles. I’d still rather have a guy that has the potential to hit home runs. … He strikes out a lot, but he knows how to work counts. He’s just a mature young man. And they have the right veterans around him.”

Though Damon has rings with both AL East rivals, he said his allegiance remains with the Yankees.

“I’m pulling for them,” Damon said. “They’ve got guys that can hit home runs, they’ve got speed guys that can create runs and the bullpen. A lot of people aren’t giving them a chance.”

He also believes the Red Sox are vulnerable.

“Everyone knew Boston was going to win the division with their [pitching] staff,” Damon said. “But they’re not playing too well. This could be the perfect time for Judge to get going.”

Damon comes to Yankee Stadium about once a month to greet fans and participate in charity events.

On Friday, he was at the Stadium taking part in an event for new virtual reality technology.

The retired outfielder spent hours playing against active members of the U.S. military currently serving in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

It was part of the Pro vs. GI Joe program and Damon — whose father spent 20 years in the Army — took part in a concept led by CCP Games, a virtual sports company, and their game Sparc.

Damon, who lives in the Orlando, Fla., area, said he had some property damage from Hurricane Irma.

He also has paid some attention to former Yankees teammate Derek Jeter’s pursuit of owning the Marlins.

“I thought A-Rod would end up buying that team one day,” Damon said of Alex Rodriguez, a Miami resident and another former Yankees teammate. “Good for [Jeter]. He wants to stay around baseball on an everyday basis.”

And he is confident Jeter will do well in the new role.

“There are a lot of things he’ll have to learn, but he learned from the best,’’ Damon said. “Seeing what [George] Steinbrenner did, [Jeter] is definitely a lot more low-key than Steinbrenner was, but Steinbrenner showed everyone how to treat players.”

Damon added that he applied for the Rays’ managerial job when Joe Maddon left for the Cubs, but didn’t get very far.

“They didn’t even take my name, even though they took Manny Acta’s, Barry Larkin’s and [current manager] Kevin Cash,” Damon. “I get how the game is. I go off players’ hearts. That’s not really how the game’s being played. It’s being played inside the numbers, the ‘Moneyball’ stuff. That’s not me. But in the future, I’ll be ready.”



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