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Johnny "Drama" Damon Earns AL Offensive Player Of The Week

The Tampa Bay Rays have had some surprising output from the left  fielders in 2011. First, there's the Legend of Sam Fuld -- the once-Cub and present superstar went from fourth outfielder to highlight reel sensation almost overnight. Meanwhile, the man we expected to patrol left field -- the veteran Johnny Damon -- has proved invariably crucial to the team's early season turnaround, shifting to designated hitter (DH) in the absence of Manny Ramirez.

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Johnny "Drama" Damon -- as he is so christened by his teammates -- has not really clobbered the ball in the early goings, hitting a poor .232/.259/.393 slash line. He started the season like many other Rays: Ice cold. As the first week entered the history books, though, Damon entered his stride, hitting the game-winning RBI in five consecutive games.

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Damon's late-game heroics and timely recovery earned him co-player of the week status, sharing the honors with Dan Haren. The award is pleasant, if not altogether meaningless, but symbolically serves as a mild consolation prize for the sudden and unfortunate retirement of Manny Ramirez.

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The Rays signed Johnny Damon (~$5M) and Manny (~$2M) this offseason, hoping to bring life to their long-dormant DH slot. While Damon has not been the best DH respective to the league, he does lead the team in home runs (3) and has all the talent necessary to eclipse the last great Rays DH -- Jose Conseco.

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Here's hoping Johnny keeps the Drama coming.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.