The sensation is also a little bit different for both players.
"It's strange," Damon said. "But every year it seems like I'm playing against a former team. But it's part of the business."
Both players said they still pay attention to what the Rays are doing.
"When you play with a team, you tend to become a family," Damon said. "And especially everything we went through last year, the ups and downs and the brilliant finish. It's special. Like I've said so many times, that's the team I'm going to be rooting for when I'm done playing, and the ballpark I'm going to go visit a lot when I'm done playing. It's a bunch of great guys over there."
Since the end of the 2011 season, Damon said he's been asked often about Game No. 162.
"You really can't top that game or top that day," Damon said. "It was a very special moment. And we just wish we could have finished it off better."
On the downside for both players, each must now face the Rays' talented group of pitchers, the prospect of which is no fun, according to Kotchman.
"No, no, certainly not," Kotchman said. "They have those shut-down pitchers and any time you go up against them you have your work cut out for you."