Cameron was scheduled to be operated on in San Diego, where he
is expected to remain for at least four more days. Beltran was
expected to miss New York's three-game weekend series with the Los
Angeles Dodgers because of a concussion and a small fracture in his
Both players spent Thursday night at different hospitals
following their seventh-inning crash in the Mets' 2-1 loss to the
Padres. Cameron and Beltran were running at full speed toward David
Ross' looping fly to short right-center, and their heads hit as
they left their feet to catch the ball.
Watching it again on the highlight shows didn't make it any less
gruesome for their teammates.
"I didn't see it that many times, but I didn't even want to see
it after that. Once was enough," manager Willie Randolph said.
"I've seen a lot of different collisions -- but when you get two
guys who are going straight out like that, it's scary because when
they bump heads, you never know what can happen.
"My fear was that they didn't lapse into any type of seizure or
coma, or whatever. It could have been a lot worse."
Cameron broke his nose, had multiple fractures of both
cheekbones and a concussion. The right fielder was placed on the
15-day disabled list immediately after the game, and Victor Diaz
was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk for Friday night's game. Diaz
started in right field against the Dodgers and Gerald Williams took
over in center for Beltran.
"We'd love to have our big boys in there, but we're going to
keep playing, man," Randolph said. "This team has always stepped
up this year, so I feel in my heart that we'll be OK. We'll just
pick each other up and do what we've got to do to win some more
ballgames. I'm very confident about that.
"There's no doubt that we're going to miss those guys.
Hopefully, Beltran will get back before long, but we'll have to
hold the fort until Cammy gets back."
Beltran was driving from San Diego with Mets head trainer Ray
Ramirez on Friday night and was expected to be at Dodger Stadium on
Cameron spent about 20-30 minutes on the phone with left fielder
Cliff Floyd, his closest friend on the team. Floyd was emotionally
spent in the moments following the collision, and was still talking
about it with glassy eyes on Friday.
"He said he never saw Carlos. That's a scary thought," Floyd
said. "I saw it one time and that was enough for me. It's amazing
that they basically came out of it like they are. All you can do is
just thank the man above.
"You always think, in baseball, nothing like this ever happens.
But this goes to show you that at any second, everything can
change. He told me, 'Other than my face, I'm fine.' So he'll be all
right. We're in California -- and they've got the best plastic
Randolph also spoke to Cameron by phone and felt much better
after their conversation. He even thinks his Gold Glove right
fielder will be back in the lineup before the season's over.
"Cammy seemed pretty optimistic," Randolph said. "Cammy's
always positive and always in good spirits, for the most part. I
mean, he's banged up, but he just indicated to me that he thought
he'd be back. But that's just him being positive and optimistic.
"I was concerned about his neck, but they said there's no
problem with that, so I assume he was OK. Once he gets the surgery
over with and the swelling goes down, he'll be fine."
The Mets' rookie manager also spoke with Beltran and was even
"Carlos sounded much better than yesterday," Randolph said.
"He was really disoriented at the end of the game. With
concussions, you have to let them calm down. That's why the next
three or four days is important -- to see if there's no headaches
and no vision problems.
"To put him on the DL right away would be playing it safe,
obviously," Randolph added. "But it's also important that we
don't rush him onto the DL because he is feeling better today. So
even if he doesn't play this weekend, he might be able to go on