Let me first say that this post isn't meant to specifically target Mike Cameron, but the situation that he found himself in yesterday and the discussion that came from it. (If you haven't seen the clip of Joe Martinez getting tagged in the head with a Mike Cameron line drive then check it out on YouTube).
Let me quickly set it up for you. Martinez pitches the ball to Cameron. Cameron hits a line drive back to Martinez and the ball hits him square in the head. The ball rebounds off his head and goes into foul territory (although is still a fair ball). Cameron slowly runs to first base but clearly concerned about the fallen player. The catcher runs out to check on his pitcher and the play seems dead. The stadium is quiet and players all seem to be incredibly concerned (as they should be in this type of situation).
About 30 seconds later the camera shows a clearly concerned and distraught Cameron again. Although this time he is standing on second base. During the time it took for the pitcher get up off the ground and for the equipment manager to wipe up the blood from his head, Cameron actually advanced to second base. Don't get me wrong, Cameron was visibly shaken up by what had happened....just not enough to not take the extra base on the play.
Cameron gave this quote after the game:
"You just hope that the young man is all right, that everything is good and that he's safe first and foremost. I just hope that he gets a chance to go back on the field again. I couldn't stop shaking. It's kind of a helpless feeling. I was just trying to pray for him because I know how dangerous that can be."
Those are very thoughtful and kind words, but didn't Cameron's play show that "first and foremost" Cameron wanted to put his team in a better position to win the game? From everything I have read about Mike Cameron I believe him to be a stand-up guy and a great ambassador of the game. I'm not really questioning Cameron's actions...just the actions that took place in general.
If it were me I like to think that I would stop at first base and show my concern from there and not advance while the other team is clearly worried about a fallen teammate. A pitcher taking a line drive to the noggin is potentially a life threatening incident. I would hope that my conscience wouldn't allow me to take second base while he was in that situation. But that's just me.
My fiancee thinks that I'm wrong. I'm sure that she's not the only one. I open this up to anyone else who has an opinion on this situation.