Red Sox: Worst outfielders in franchise history
Five years too late
One of the saddest baseball moments for me was watching Willie Mays flop around in centerfield for the New York Mets in 1972-73. Willie just didn’t know the party had ended about five years earlier and didn’t go home. That was Mike Cameron in 2010.
Cameron won three Gold Gloves in his career and was considered an excellent outfielder – primarily in center. Cameron was lifetime .249 hitter, but had some sting with the bat once hitting 30 home runs. Cameron also led the American League in strikeouts (176) one season. The Red Sox signed Cameron as a free agent with the intent of moving Ellsbury to left field. A double whammy ensued.
In Kansas City, Ellsbury got run over by a truck disguised as a third baseman, Adrian Beltre. That put a damper on Ellsbury’s season, but Cameron was a nightmare in center. The game was gone for Cameron as his UZR/150 was -27.6.
Sometimes with fielding metrics, there can be a down season, but observing Cameron this was no down season. Routine plays became an adventure, throws were questionable, balls to the right or left became doubles and finally, a groin injury ended his misery. Since Cameron was locked into a two-year deal he returned in 2011 and 2010 season actually looked good. Cameron hit .143 and was designated.
This signing I considered one of the worst of the Theo Epstein era. Cameron was shot and the team overreacted to some negative metrics on Ellsbury in 2009. What made it even more depressing is Cameron was an extremely well-liked player who was noted for interacting quite positively with fans.