Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A F'ing Body in the Outfield

Obviously, the Mike Cameron sports hernia situation is of special interest to me because I am suffering from the same condition. We got diagnosed on the same day, so it is therefore worthwhile for me and my running-related sanity to contrast my development with his. The latest development for me (just in case I have fans) is that I'm having minimally-invasive surgery to fix the problem.

But especially Friday, it has been looking more prudent for Cameron to go ahead and have the surgery, like me, sooner rather than later.

Of course, JD Drew's hamstring injury (he had previously only missed four games, so minimal criticism is due) is a factor. Drew, however, is supposed to return tonight against the Rockies. I'll believe it when I see it.

Either way, if Nancy comes back or if Number Two ever comes back to playing baseball with his shattered, I mean, non-displaced but cracked ribs, it is worth considering putting Cameron under the knife.

Cameron should continue playing until the time he gets the surgery. With the surgery, he will most likely miss two months, putting him back to 100% by September 1st. But, to use Terry Francona's term, Cameron is a "f***ing body in [center] field." His range is completely gone. Balls are going over his head because the injury is preventing him from turning around and running explosively. A healthy Cameron could have caught two or maybe even three balls on Friday alone. They instead became extra-base hits.

So the two options right now are surgery and no surgery. No surgery means you get Cameron at 75% playing four times a week and having Bill Hall/Darnell McDonald/token minor leaguer the other three days. It will be this way for the rest of the season, including whatever kind of playoffs the Red Sox might qualify for.

Surgery means you have Hall/McDonald/token minor leaguer everyday for two months. And yes, we should ask the Strength of Schedule Crusaders about this. But then on September first, you get Cameron back at 100%. You get true run prevention down the stretch assuming Number Two didn't break another rib walking down the street.

Yes, the surgery option may have gotten more difficult with Nancy going down and probably being either well shy of 100% or being unwilling to play consistently anymore. But the only way to fix the condition is surgery, something that Cameron was planning on having in the offseason anyway. With the bench playing as okay as they have been playing, however, the player should bite the bullet. There is no benefit reaped by having a player become a "f***ing body" out there, especially if he's gone from an elite outfielder to Mike Lowell 2009.

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