Boston Red Sox: Mike Cameron Is Ready for a Big Year in 2011 and Beyond

George CampbellContributor IMarch 8, 2011

Cameron talking to Orioles coach Willie Randolph prior to a game in Ft. Myers. G. Campbell photo
Cameron talking to Orioles coach Willie Randolph prior to a game in Ft. Myers. G. Campbell photo

Mike Cameron’s first season with the Red Sox was not what he had hoped for. An abdominal injury last season put the former All-Star on the DL, and eventually required surgery. The injury cut his playing time to just 48 games, the fewest games he had appeared in since 1997.

After appearing in four games this spring, he is hitting .455 and ready to play again.

“I’m feeling a whole lot better than last year,” Mike happily explained. “I’m just trying to take it slow now, and let my body catch up. Other than a few little bumps and bruises here and there, everything is good.”

At 38-years-old, he is not trying to set the world on fire this spring.

“I just want to get out of here healthy, and the other parts take care of themselves,” he said.  “After the surgery, I need to take care of myself more than anything else. I’m as close as I can get to 100 percent, you know after as long as I’ve played.”

With the addition of his friend Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to the already potent Red Sox lineup, he likes Red Sox chances for a big year in 2011.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ve got a lot of really good players here. We’ve improved in some areas. No matter how you look at a squad, it starts with the starting pitching; we need to keep those guys healthy. There’s been a lot going on with these guys this year, Youk moving to third, adding Carl (Crawford) and Adrian (Gonzalez). Hopefully we will come together as a unit over the course of the year to where we’ll be able to put some things together and be real successful.”

After the teams set back in 2010, with key players like Ellsbury, Youkilis, Pedroia and himself lost to the disabled list, he knows nothing is guaranteed coming out of spring training.

“Health is the key. It’s the most important thing in all the seasons, no matter how good your team is, if the players you have out there that are supposed to be your contributors don’t have good health and are not able to play to the ability they are expecting , then you end up mixing and matching to put things together.”

Despite making it to the divisional playoffs a few times, he has never made it to the World Series, and hopes this will be the year. At 38-years-old, the opportunities to play in one are running down.

While he is not thinking about retirement any time soon, he does see a role for him when his career on the field is finished. He has been dabbling in television and radio for the past couple years.

“I got a chance to experience the MLB Network a little bit this year and talked quite a bit on the radio,” Mike said. “The one thing about it is, as much as I like to play baseball, I like to talk about it a lot too. I like to give people the insight I can offer.”

Hopefully Mike will be able to use his World Series experience to provide more insight to people after the 2011 season!