FORT MYERS, Fla. — He’s a breath of fresh air down here.
New Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron took some time out to chat with fans in Fort Myers today about his number, playing center field, Manny Ramirez, and more.
“We got a good team here,” a jovial Cameron said today. “I just want to be on it.”
On taking over center field for Jacoby Ellsbury: “I’m just holding the spot for him for a few months,” Cam said. “He’s played left … I haven’t. We talked… as players, we don’t really worry about that. I can play left… it’s not like I can’t play the position, there’s just things you have to learn about the position, so he just kind of helps out.
“[Being the Sox centerfielder] means I have to play the position really good or otherwise I’ll be the conversation of the year,” the affable Cameron said. “I never worry about it. Everything works out.”
One fan reminded Cameron not to go into the Green Monster during games to hang out, something old friend Manny Ramirez was known to do. “I won’t do that,” Cameron said laughing. “He [Manny] was good though, crazy good.”
On choosing No. 23: “I’ll tell you the story, Mikey Lowell wears 25, so I couldn’t take that because he’s been here forever,” Cameron said. “I didn’t want to wear 44 (Jason Bay’s number with the Sox last year) because that’s kind of a touchy situation. I was like, ‘I don’t want to wear that.’ And then 24 is semi-retired, because of Manny (Ramirez), and Dewey Evans, so I said I’m going back to my minor league number. But Tito told me if you wear No. 23, make sure you don’t miss the first ball because [the crowd] will go ‘LUUUGO!’ It’s crazy… I mean it always works out.”
One fan complained that Rays star B.J. Upton won’t give out autographs or talk to fans during spring training. “Some guys are different,” Cameron said. “Some guys just have different agendas.”
Author’s note: Apologies in advance for the wind putting up a fight in this spontaneous video.