In his column this morning, Terry Pluto said that the Indians have had “serious talks” with outfielder Mike Cameron and have also been in talks with infielder Andy LaRoche.
I’ll start with my thoughts on Cameron. I think he was vital to those early 2000s Seattle Mariners teams (including the 116-win squad in 2001) and was somewhat underrated as far as the national media was concerned. Unfortunately, those days were about 10 years ago; Cameron is pretty washed up at this point. Last season, split between the Red Sox and the Marlins, Cameron hit .203/.285/.359 with 9 home runs; he’s also battled injuries the past few seasons. If this is a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, I will fully support it. Yes, I know the Indians already have a number of those, but I think it may be worth it to see if Cameron has anything left in the tank. Plus most reports I’ve seen over the years all say that he’s a really great guy and goes the extra mile for fans. I’m always happy to see someone like that get another chance; if nothing else, he may be able to give some great advice to the Indians’ young outfielders. He also bats right-handed, and we all know the need for some right-handed power on the roster.
Now, for Andy LaRoche. I feel kind of biased on this one, since he’s one of the players that could technically fall into my irrational hate/annoyance category. When he and brother Adam played for the Pirates a couple of years ago, they used to drive me nuts. My cousin even sarcastically called them “the dynamic duo.” You also have to realize that we referred to Adam as the “good” brother (when neither of them were that “good”. You can imagine our opinions of Andy). The right-handed LaRoche primarily plays third base, and last year with Oakland he was reasonably better than he was with Pittsburgh in 2010 – in 2011 he hit .247/.320/.333 with 0 home runs. (2010 he hit .206/.268/.287 with 4 home runs).
I typically try to keep a level head, in blogging and in life. When the Indians do dumb things, I try to stay rational and calm, just as I try to avoid overly praising them when something goes right. Although when I initially saw the news about Cameron and LaRoche earlier (particularly the bit about LaRoche), it made me want to reenact that scene from Major League where Harry Doyle (Bob Uecker) just gives up and starts calling the broadcasts drunk. Just knock back a few beers and start rambling (via my computer keyboard) “is anyone even watching this crap anymore?” Because this off-season (and the past few off-seasons, for that matter) are starting to make me feel we’re trapped in the plot of that movie. Just as long as the next signing doesn’t go to someone who had really promising stats in the California Penal League.