Mike Cameron should have hit the cookie
When I saw that Scooter Gennett had hit four home runs in a game my thought wasn’t congratulations but annoyance that a banjo-hitting utility infielder would impinge upon one of the hardest things to do in a baseball game.
None of this was supposed to happen. Gennett, a 27-year-old, 5-foot-10 career second baseman, was waived by the Brewers at the end of spring training, and picked up by the Reds to be a utility guy, which entailed learning some new positions. He’s started four games at third base this year, which he’d never played in the majors. He was in left field last night, a position he’d never played before this season. His previous outfield experience had consisted of one inning in 2014.
This is a personality flaw in how I view the game of baseball. I’m all for the underdogs in many aspects of the game, but I don’t like nominal players doing things that are completely out of the realm of their skill set. Unless it is Lee Lacy hitting three straight pinch hit home runs.
I’ve seen two players hit four home runs in a game. Shawn Green and Mike Cameron. When I say, I saw them do it, I’m talking about TV. The Shawn Green game has been talked about here before.
Mike Cameron did it on May 2nd, 2002. Unlike many of the seventeen players who have hit four home runs in a game, Mike had a chance for five, and he almost did it. Mike had hit four home runs by the end of the 5th inning. Mike and Brett Boone both hit two home runs in the first innings. That had never been done before. In his fifth at-bat, he was hit by a pitch. What kind of bullshit is that you have four home runs, and they hit you with a pitch? Couldn’t that have waited until the next game? Anyway, this is the at-bat I’ll always remember. He comes up in the 9th inning and works a 3 – 0 count. A cookie could be coming his way. A chance to do something no one has ever done.
He takes a pitch right down the middle. I couldn’t believe it. The announcer starts prattling about how Cameron is playing the game the right way. All I know is that I felt he should have swung with everything he had. Eventually, the count goes to 3 – 2 and Cameron crushes a ball to deep right-center field.
It had a chance.
It was caught.
But has anyone ever come closer? I don’t know but it was oh so close.