In a move only a true psychic could have seen coming, the Boston Red Sox have claimed veteran outfielder Johnny Damon off waivers from the Detroit Tigers.

Red Sox fans will not have forgotten the name Johnny Damon. The outfielder was a member of the Red Sox from 2002 to 2005, during the time of “The Idiots,” of whom he was a ringleader along with former BoSock Kevin Millar.

The self-proclaimed “Idiots” were a bunch of scruffy, poorly groomed ballplayers who created an unbreakable bond in the Red Sox clubhouse. This bond, most noticeable in 2004, helped the Red Sox pull off a miracle, winning eight playoff games in a row to win their first World Series in 86 years.

Damon will be most remembered by Sox fans for his Game Seven grand slam in the 2004 American League Championship Series, when the Red Sox came back from a three games to none deficit to beat the rival New York Yankees and reach the World Series, where they swept the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals.

In his four seasons, very few Red Sox were loved by the fans the way Johnny Damon was. The men loved his gritty, old-fashioned style on the field. Women loved the “Jesus” hairstyle and “good looks.”

All real Sox fans have seen Fever Pitch, where the woman makes sure Damon hears her say, “You have the sweetest ass in the league!”

Everything was “hunky dory” when Damon was a Red Sock.

Then came 2006.

Sox fans remember that winter. After the 2005 season, Damon left the Red Sox and joined the New York Yankees.

He has not been welcomed warmly at Fenway since.

However, Red Sox fans may be willing to welcome Damon back this time. Some may ask why. In order for this deal to go through, Damon must approve the trade from the Tigers. The Red Sox are not one of the eight teams that he can be traded to without consent.

The Tigers will likely be looking for a top prospect. If the Sox can make a trade without losing Casey Kelly and Damon approves the deal, it would be a big day for Boston.

Many former teammates still with the Sox are excited about the possibility of reuniting with “Boston’s favorite Idiot.”

“Oh definitely,” said DH David Ortiz to the Red Sox’s official website. “That’s my boy, you know that. It would be great. Johnny is a fun person to be around and I’m pretty sure he’d be excited to be back, and for all those people that did him wrong, [they] can put that back together and make him forget about the Yankees thing.”

“Johnny’s a special player,” said catcher Jason Varitek. “He’s pushing on Hall of Fame-type numbers. You add that with [the fact that] Johnny’s great in the clubhouse, he’s great on the field and he’s one hell of a teammate.”

If Damon was to make a return to the Sox, it could be as big a return as backup catcher Doug Mirabelli’s return in 2006, when he was sent back to the Red Sox from the San Diego Padres in the morning and driven with a police escort to the park in the afternoon, where he ran inside, put on his uniform, entered the dugout, and received a massive ovation from Red Sox Nation.

With outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron done for the season, it is a golden opportunity for the Sox to fill a major gap. However, Damon is in no rush to make what will be a big decision for the 36-year-old.

“It’s probably as tough of a decision for me to take right now as it was for me to leave Boston for New York,” Damon told reporters in Detroit. “It’s something that fortunately we have some time to think about it. At this moment, I’m not sure I want to leave Detroit for that. I enjoy playing here. I enjoy the kids I’m playing for, the coaching staff. But obviously [Red Sox manager Terry] Francona is amazing. But it’s something that I have to think long and hard over.

“I had a great time playing there,” Damon said. “But I think once it was apparent that I wasn’t a necessity to re-sign there, it started to get ugly. And that’s why I’ve got to think long and hard. I have to think if they do have a strong chance to make the playoffs with the guys beat up there.”

The two teams have until Wednesday to make a deal before the Tigers can pull him off waivers.

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