Friday July 01, 2011 | 06:23 AM

Mike Cameron was designated for assignment Thursday, struggling with a .149 average. Signing Cameron to a two-year deal last year was not a good move by Theo Epstein.

But Cameron did live up to expectations as a "character guy." When he spent a few days in Portland last year on rehab, he seemed to elevate everyone at Hadlock Field with his optimism and respect (for people and the game).

After his playing days, Cameron will be sought by many to be an instructor and/or coach.

I have one other memory of Cameron, from Fenway Park. The Red Sox had a rare pregame promotion where players were to go out and meet fans. A few complained. Some rolled their eyes. Cameron, however, was all smiles. Before leaving the clubhouse for the field, he stuffed his pockets with bubble gum - to hand out to kids.

Cameron's removal from the roster should be a warning for Darnell McDonald (.115) and J.D. Drew (.235). The kids are coming up.

Yamaico Navarro, just called up to the majors, has been playing the outfield at times this year in Pawtucket. He is a promising right-handed bat who could replace McDonald. And Drew could (should?) lose his job to Josh Reddick, currently batting .444.

Now for the minors and some strange situations.

Can you name the last time a player stole both second and third base and then came home with the winning run? Can you name how many times it has happened twice in one night, within the same organization?

Pawtucket beat Rochester 6-5 when Jose Iglesias walked in the eighth inning, stole second and third, and then scored on a wild pitch.

In low Class A Greenville, Brandon Jacobs singled in the bottom of the 11th. He stole second and third, and scored on a ground ball, for a 2-1 win.

In the Pawtucket game, Ryan Lavarnway (.333) went 3-for-5 with his fourth home run in 14 Triple-A games ... Tommy Hottovy (0.87) and Michael Bowden (3.66) both pitched shutout relief.

Former Sea Dogs first baseman Aaron Bates (.331) was 2-for-3 for Rochester.

And one more Pawtucket note: Did you catch Kyle Weiland's numbers from Wednesday night? (8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K). Think the Red Sox front office noticed?

The Sea Dogs had plenty of standouts in its 10-4 win. See the Press Herald story.

Salem outfielder Bryce Brentz (.268) was 2-for-4 with his sixth home run in 14 games since his promotion.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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