Sunday, April 10, 2011
Cameron on role: 'An uphill challenge'
By Mike Reiss
BOSTON -- Outfielder Mike Cameron is back in the Red Sox lineup for the first time since Opening Day, batting sixth and playing center field for Sunday night’s game against the Yankees.
With left-hander CC Sabathia pitching for the Yankees, manager Terry Francona said it made sense to insert Cameron, who bats right-handed, into the lineup over Jacoby Ellsbury.
This is new territory for the 38-year-old Cameron, who signed a two-year, $15.5 million contract with the Red Sox in 2010 envisioning the type of full-time role he’s played throughout his career. Yet when the team signed outfielder Carl Crawford this offseason, it bumped Cameron out of the everyday lineup.
Cameron’s locker in the Red Sox clubhouse, coincidentally, is next to Crawford’s.
“It’s an uphill challenge for me that I haven’t seen before,” Cameron said tonight, when asked of his role. “I’m just trying to go with it, see how it plays out, and stay ready and positive about all situations.”
Cameron, who got the call in right field for the season opener against Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson, was 0-for-3 in that game. He entered the team’s 8-4 loss to the Indians on April 6 as a pinch-hitter and flied out to center.
Francona touched on Cameron before tonight’s game.
“I know he’s trying to [adjust to the role], and he’s doing it as professional as possible,” he said. “I don’t want him to sit very often because he’s going to be a big part of what we’re doing. Tonight seemed like a really good night to play him. Cam’s about as professional as you can be.”