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Original Issue

Cuckoo for Coco?

How much willthe Red Sox miss Johnny Damon? Coco Crisp (right), whom Boston acquired fromthe Indians on Jan. 27, was the American League's best defensive leftfielderlast year and should make a smooth transition to full-time duty in center, evenwithout a strong throwing arm. (He is nonetheless an upgrade over Damon in thatdepartment.) Offensively, Crisp is in the same class as Damon, as reflected bytheir stats last year (below). And when age, salary and relative ballparkfactors are weighed in (Crisp moves from Jacobs Field, a pitcher's park, whileDamon leaves hitter-friendly Fenway Park), Boston's move looks as though itmight well pay off.

PLAYER

TOTAL BA

TIMES BASES

ON BASE

OBP

OPS

SB

AGE

2006 SALARY

DAMON

.316

274

252

.366

.805

18

32

$13 million

CRISP

.300

276

222

.345

.810

15

26

$2.75 million

 

PHOTO

TOM DIPACE (DAMON)

PHOTO

AARON JOSEFCZYK/ICON SMI (CRISP)