The Marlins released CF Mike Cameron Monday night after beating the Atlanta Braves, possibly ending the career of the 17-year veteran.
The team initially did not disclose why Cameron was released. With the team out of contention and Cameron missing time due to a hamstring injury, it seemed like the Marlins had little reason to keep him around for the last few weeks of the season.
But word came Tuesday evening that Cameron was released for conduct detrimental to the team, that wonderful catch-all phrase that fits a range of crimes from missing a team meeting to spiking the Gatorade bucket with laxatives.
The Marlins have not elaborated on the conduct that was so detrimental it necessitated Cameron's release, but the Miami Herald reported that Cameron was dismissed because of a "verbal altercation" he initiated with a flight attendant on the Marlins' team charter flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta on Sunday.
According to the Herald, the charter company filed a complaint after the incident, leading the team to release Cameron.
Needless to say, he was not happy about his release. MLB.com asked Marlins manager Jack McKeon how Cameron took the news, McKeon replied, "Not easy. Who would?"
McKeon then gave the situation some cognitive dissonance, saying of Cameron, "Here is a guy who has a great work ethic. He tried to help some of these young kids. I was fortunate to have him in Cincinnati. If they [young players] look the way he went about his work, they would learn something."
Making the move all the more confusing is that the Marlins are dealing with a number of injuries in the outfield, and MLB.com reported the team is not expected to call up Chris Coghlan or Scott Cousins from Triple-A New Orleans (both of whom can play centerfield).
Starting outfielders Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton are both dealing with leg injuries of their own, while sometime-centerfielder Emilio Bonifacio has been filling in for injured shortstop Hanley Ramirez and both Morrison and Stanton as of late. Backup outfielder Bryan Petersen has been manning centerfield recently.
Cameron must have done something pretty bad for the Marlins to put themselves in a bind like this, but the team does not want to say what he did, so we are forced to speculate. Our money is on a laxative prank gone wrong.