Whither The Love For Mike Cameron?

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Mike Cameron.jpg

I was perusing the SI.com archives from Jon Heyman (aka The Boras Propaganda Machine) and found myself re-reading his nominations for the top 20 MLB free agents going into 2010. The names you'd expect were all featured about where they should have been, but one name struck me as conspicuously absent: Mike Cameron. I whined about Cameron not getting a meaningless Gold Glove in the comments a few nights back, but I really am surprised the guy isn't getting more love as a short-term, cost-effective free agent option because that's exactly what he is.

Yes, Mike Cameron will be 37 years old in the 2010 season, but what he did as a 36 year old in 2009 cannot be understated: 24 HR, .346 wOBA, 111 OPS+, .202 ISO, and he played a stellar defense (to the tune of a 10.3 UZR/150) despite being "aged" by most modern baseball standards. What's not to like about that? Sure, he's no Franklin Gutierrez, but then again, few people are. And remember, before there was Franklin Gutierrez becoming the veritable death of any flying object, there was Mike Cameron doing the exact same thing.

I think part of the reason why I'm so perturbed by Heyman's lack of candor for Mike Cameron stems from the fact that he does give Rick Ankiel an "honorable mention" after his list. Really? He of the .288 wOBA? Not to mention his defensive abilities are nowhere near Cameron's. Saying that Ankiel has "fall down range" might be a bit generous. In other words, Rick Ankiel wishes he was Mike Cameron.

The rumors have it that Cameron is seeking a one year deal for about $7-8 million. Considering he was a 4.0+ WAR player and "worth" over $18 million in production for the Brewers each of these past two seasons, there would hopefully be many a smart GM leaping at the chance to add this man to his team. Let's see if the fella starts getting some love.

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You're frustrated that Jon Heyman doesn't get the nuances of wOBA and UZR? Really?

Cameron is better than the mainstream thinks but not as good as the cognoscenti believe. Much of his value is and always has been derived from crushing lefties. Since most pitchers are RH and since he can thus be matched up against in high-leverage situations, that reduces his offensive value significantly.

/dick joke

I certainly didn't mean to imply that, the mere purpose was to show that Cameron has been a valuable player, if for nothing else than his defensive abilities. If Jon Heyman actually understood the "advanced" statistics that I did, I doubt I would be so disagreeable with him. His offensive splits are no doubt stilted in favor of right-handed hitters but to fault him for this when valuable hitters like Russell Branyan are as imbalanced, if not more so, is slightly ludicrous.

I got your back, 310. Cameron has always been a flawed, but deeply awesome player. Best defensive CF of the 00s.

NJPanick (if you're out there): Yes, it is "Jack and Jill"

You kinda did sound incredulous that Heyman isn't reading his fangraphs, which is like being incredulous that The Flying Nun hasn't read the Koran. One has nothing to do with a seemingly related other.

More importantly, I've never lamented Boston's dearth of Taco Bells more than I am today as they've announced the return of the Cheesy Gordita Crunch. Each time the commercials come on, my stomach and I glare at each other like vengeful exes.

You can never go back. But the siren's call of the CGC is a test of even the strongest man. Today I succeeded. Tomorrow....


I understand how the remarks can be taken that way, but that was not the central idea of the post. I'm sorry for being unclear. The Heyman bashing, as brief as it was, was merely a way to frame Mike Cameron's true value. The fact that he wasn't on Heyman's list was a way for me to talk about how he does bring good things to a team, not an attempt to take down a well-read MSM beast.

Cheesy gordita crunches are fantastic.

I wouldn't mind Atlanta signing Cameron if other options don't work out.

He's a LaGrange (ZZ Top) guy

1. I love Mike Cameron and am a fan (it's facebook official). He is an amazing CF who doesn't get enough rep for his play. Good article.
2. How long are the Cheesy Gordita Crunches going to be around for? I want one waiting for me at the end of the half marathon I'm running.
3. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society...
(also: oh wee oh, killer tofu!)
4. I may or may not be slightly intoxicated.
5. Because a list of four just doesn't seem right.

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