Monday, April 27, 2015

Hamilton Homecoming?

It seems the Rangers are all but done bringing Josh Hamilton back to Texas. Had somebody ask me my thoughts about the deal yesterday and I figured it would be a good topic for today's post.

I picked 2011 Playoff Contenders Season Ticket #1 for today's post because it's an unlicensed card. Makes it look like Hamilton is playing for the local semi-pro team and kind of sums up his situation with the Angels.

As Rangers fans know, Josh made his name with Texas between 2008 and 2012. He signed with Anaheim prior to the 2013 season. The signing and aftermath led to some hostility between Hamilton and Rangers fans. In his second season with the Halos, Josh suffered a relapse of his drug and alcohol problems. He'd done the same several times with Texas and had been able to patch things up. It must be noted though that his last apology to Rangers fans rang a little hollow. Major League Baseball decided not to suspend Josh for his antics but the Angels owner, Arte Moreno, wasn't having it. Hamilton missed Spring Training due to off-season shoulder surgery but he wasn't invited or issued a locker. He wasn't issued a locker at the Big A either and the team shops pulled all merchandise with his name or likeness on it. Moreno publicly stated he thought he had grounds to void Hamilton's contract. Josh has been spending his time in Houston in limbo, a player without a team or a chance to find one. He didn't waste his time though and reportedly filed for divorce from his wife in April. Rumors are that he caught her cheating but she denied that and said she was stunned by the filing. Either way it's a sad event.

Now the Rangers are offering the Angels $11 million for Hamilton. Supposedly the deal calls for the Halos to cover all but $15 million of the $83 million remaining on Hamilton's contract. If the deal goes through Josh will likely start in the minors and is not guaranteed a spot with the Rangers.

Why I like this deal: It's cheap and the Rangers can walk away without losing their shirt. There's also a slight chance Hamilton makes good and provides an impact bat.

Why I dislike this deal: It involves Josh Hamilton. Hamilton has become entitled and seems to feel like the world owes him. Add that to his inability to keep his mouth shut, the fans bitterness towards him, and his susceptibility to injury, and the gas is ready for the match. Josh needs support, lots of it. He gets it from the fans, team, and family. He's burned the family and fans so that leaves just the team. Of course the team has no real skin in the game on him at this point. That's not a good recipe for personal success.

All in all this deal feels like a mistake. Hamilton isn't the player he was with Texas two years ago. His numbers are down and he has been battling injuries to past couple of seasons. I can't see him making a real impact or surviving the booking of the fans when he doesn't. For Josh and the Rangers sakes, I hope I'm wrong.

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