Josh Hamilton – A Texas Slugger

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I was shocked on Thursday afternoon to hear the news about Josh Hamilton signing a five year, $125 million deal with the Angels! On Saturday morning, the Angels introduced Josh to the fan base. It was still a little hard for me to digest the news that Josh was no longer a Texas Ranger. The handwriting has been on the wall for a long time that Josh would probably be leaving the Rangers. I was just hoping that Josh and the Rangers would figure out how to cut a deal. Having Josh retire as a Texas Ranger would have been great. I believe the Rangers were offering Josh a very good four year deal. I think a three year deal with a one year option would have been very fair (because of Josh’s health and on again & off again issues). A five year deal …. Wow! Just amazing!

Josh brought a lot of excitement, drama and frustration to the Texas Rangers and Fans. I would have loved to see the Rangers win a World Series with Josh on the team. Josh’s ability to hit a home run is just awesome. I was lucky enough to see Josh and hear the crack of his bat at the Ball Park in Arlington where he hit more homers than I can remember. It was unbelievable watching that ball go over the wall! Those were the good old days at the Ball Park! I will just hate it now when Josh returns to the Ball Park in Arlington as a Angel and hits a home run! On paper, the Angles have one hell of a team now. The Rangers are left scratching their heads.

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How good was Josh over the last five seasons with the Rangers compared to other major league hitters ……

  • Batting Average       .305       10th in the league
  • Home Runs              142        15th
  • Slugging %               .549       5th
  • RBIs                         506         8th
  • On-base %              .363        40th
  • Strikeouts                 555         37th

This past season, Josh started out like a rocket blasting off! Josh’s performance was unreal! One of his highlights early in the season was on May 8th when he tied the major league record for home runs in a game against Baltimore. Josh hit four home runs and doubled in his other at-bat for eight RBIs and 18 total bases. His performance set the American League record for total bases in a game and was one short of the Major League record set by Shawn Green of the Los Angles Dodgers.

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By the end of the season, many fans were very frustrated with Josh! Because of the many crazy problems and issues that would just crop up and wouldn’t go away for weeks. Such as his chewing tobacco / nicotine problem, his ongoing problems with his eyes / blurry vision, issues with drinking to many energy drinks and getting the shakes from to much caffeine. Then going over the top by dropping a simple fly ball during the Oakland’s division win over the Rangers in October. That was the straw the broke the camel’s back. For many Texas Rangers Fans, it was just to much to see Josh miss that catch. It was a real punch in the gut! It was just proof that Josh’s head wasn’t in the game during the last six weeks of the season. Everyone was fuming about Josh and his ongoing issues!

Josh needed to be handled with care every day and someone had to make sure he was on the same page with everyone else. I believe after five years, the upper level management got a little tired of constantly baby-sitting him.

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The biggest risk the Angels have in signing Josh is his off the field issues and ongoing problems that includes years of drug & alcohol abuse, relapses and public apologies to his wife, teammates, and fans. The constant battle that Josh has with his inner demons that fuel his addictions would be tough for anyone. The Josh Hamilton story is an unbelievable one and it’s only going to be better if Josh can stay focused and healthy.  I will miss Josh as a Texas Ranger and wish Josh success with the Angles!