I've known Mike Cameron since before he was ever a Brewer, before Miller Park existed. Well, not known him known him, but I have been a fan of his work for quite some time. He was the key to the trade that sent Ken Griffey to Cincinatti and I lived in Seattle at that time so we became well acquainted. His defense in Center Field was the best I've ever seen. He struck out a lot, but when he made contact it went a long way and when he got on base he could steal. Basically, if Ichiro never existed he would be my favorite player and right now he is my favorite Brewer. Now? He's the same player with a slight dropoff in defense.
Now I've let my love for Rickie Weeks be known around these parts, but that's mostly because I hate people saying he sucks when he so clearly doesn't. With Mike Cameron I truly like the guy and want him to succeed. I will argue his value to my death. To me he is THE most important guy to this team's success and it might not even have anything to do with how he plays. Take yesterday's game for example. Prince hit a homerun and Mike Cameron gave him a choreographed high-five. Then Mike Cameron hit a homerun and he gave Rickie Weeks a different choreographed high-five. The more I watch the Brewers (and you notice this after wins) I see Mike Cameron do a different high-five for every player on the team. I even saw him give Ken Macha (!) the up-down high-five. Mike Cameron is without a doubt the glue that binds this team together. When CC Sabathia was around he called Mike Cameron a friend. Do you know why? Because Mike Cameron is EVERYONE'S friend. He is probably the coolest guy in all of Major League Baseball and everyone should be glad he is on our team. You know the stories about how the Brewers truly like eachother? That's got Mike Cameron's fingerprints all over it. He's a good guy and he's a winner.
The reason I am bringing this up is not to sing his praises from the mountain tops. It's to prepare you for what might happen. You see Mike Cameron has never hit higher than .273 in a season and he's only hit above .260 in 4 out of his 11 seasons. Right now he's hitting .321 and as much as we'd all like it to be true, 36 is not the season you suddenly learn to hit .300. It's just not. So there is going to be a dropoff and there will probably be a slump at some point. At some point this season you may say to yourself that Mike Cameron sucks and I just want you to know that I will have none of it. Mike Cameron does not suck. He is who he is. He's a plus defender, with above average power and speed. He is good, but he is not this good. He will decline this season and that will be okay because he will still be Mike Cameron and Mike Cameron is still the most valuable guy in the locker room that this team has.
So remember those rules of booing? This is #1 on mine: Never, ever boo Mike Cameron.