Mike Cameron is just like everyone else: He can’t help but marvel at the success the Boston Red Sox have had so far this season.
But Cameron has a very different perspective than most, seeing as how he once played for the Red Sox and played for the 2001 Seattle Mariners, the team Boston is chasing for the most regular-season wins in the live ball era.
“I was watching (the Red Sox play in) Toronto last night,” Mike Cameron told NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich on Wednesday, one day after Boston blew a ninth-inning before winning in 10 frames. “I’m like, ‘Oh (expletive). They’re back in the game, are you serious?’ ”
The Red Sox won again Wednesday night and entered Thursday with an 81-34 record. They still have a long way to go to catch the 2001 Mariners, who went 116-46, but Cameron isn’t doubting Boston’s ability to finish the season with a 35-12 stretch or better to catch Seattle’s amazing mark. He only has one concern.
“It’s just a matter if they decide to play as much going into the stretch,” Cameron told Drellich. “That’s probably the biggest thing … It seems like everybody they plug in every day, they’re getting the job done. They’re dominant.
“They have youth in the lineup and they have power pitching. We didn’t really have power pitching in our (2001 Mariners) squad. That bodes well in October. So you know, it’s definitely something special.”
Cameron was a key contributor for the ’01 Mariners, earning an All-Star selection and a Gold Glove Award. The season ultimately ended in disappointment for the outfielder, though, as the Mariners lost to the New York Yankees in five games in the American League Championship Series.
Boston is hoping to avoid a similar fate in 2018, especially after losing in the American League Division Series each of the last two seasons. But for now, there’s no harm in enjoying the regular-season ride, because the Red Sox are piecing together a remarkable campaign, much like Cameron and the Mariners did in 2001.
“For me, I think I thought about it a lot, because we won a lot of games in the seventh, eighth, ninth inning,” Cameron told Drellich of soaking up the journey back in ’01. “So along with the jubilation of winning a game is like (a sense), ‘This is amazing, this is unbelievable.’ We are really tough to beat every day.
“I always thought about it because I’m like, ‘This is unbelievable. This is like playing 12U where you’re dominating everybody.’ ”
The Red Sox sure are turning heads, and Cameron, who played in parts of two seasons with Boston in 2010 and 2011, is keeping close tabs on the team’s quest for baseball history.
Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images