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Cleveland Indians

Damon back in the lineup, subbing for Hafner

By Sheldon Ocker Published: May 3, 2012
   CHICAGO: The muscle cramps have been chased away, and Johnny Damon has returned to the lineup as the DH.
   “”I don’t think he’ll cramp up being the DH,’’ manager Manny Acta said this afternoon. “”By having him DH, you cut out about 50 percent of the action.’’
   Acta frequently said that Damon will receive few at-bats at DH. Mostly, he will play left, sharing the position with Shelley Duncan.
  Damon said the event that brought on the cramping was going from low humidity of Arizona, where he prepped to start the season, to the relatively higher humidity of the Midwest.
   “”Normally it takes me about seven days to acclimate myself to the humidity,’’ Damon said. “” It’s the first game I had to come out of because of cramping. But I feel good today.’’
    He also thinks the problem was exaserbated by medication he takes to control his high blood pressure, which he said drains the body of potassium.
   Damon realizes that his body sends him different messages at age 38 than it did at age 25 or 30.
  “”At the time, I didn’t think much about it,’’ he said. “”But I have to prepare different now than I did five years ago or maybe even last year.’’
   Damon was able to step into thre DH spot because Travis Hafner got the night off after being hit in the knee with a pitch Wednesday night.
   “”Hafner is OK, but he could use as day off,’’ Acta said. “”He was moving around a little differently today. He’s lucky he got to jog around the bases a couple of times.’’
Hafner was on base when Carlos Santana homered in the fifth inning, and Hafner went deep in the ninth to treat himself to another slow trot around the bases.

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