You would have to have been living up under a rock to not know that Josh Hamilton is my favorite baseball player, flaws and all. Yesterday my favorite player made the headlines again and I must say I was shocked. Hamilton signed a five year, $125 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I still have not gotten used to that name. As a fan of Hamilton’s I will support his decision to join the Angles but I wished he could have worked things out with the Texas Rangers, his former team.
Hamilton and the Rangers had a very unique relationship. The struggles that Hamilton has dealt with over the years are well documented. Drug use. Suspensions. Relapses. Despite all of this, it never stopped the Rangers from supporting him no matter what. One of my favorite scenes will always be when the Rangers clinched the pennant in 2010 and the team celebrated with ginger ale instead of champagne so Hamilton could participate in the celebration. What a noble gesture. Also well documented are his abilities, which are second to none. You do not believe me, go find the clip of the 2008 Home Run Derby or read Hamilton’s book, Beyond Belief. When he is on, he is on! Earlier this year, we were treated to a major league record. Hamilton hit nine home runs in one week, four of them came in one game. What he did was so rare that ESPN interrupted their regularly scheduled programs to show his at-bats.
Even with all the talent that Hamilton has, I was stunned that the Angels gave him such a large contract. This summer, it had been reported that Hamilton would seek a $100 million dollar contract. Many questioned if he was worthy of such a large contract. I, too, questioned it. Like I said, when he is on, he is on! However, Hamilton can be inconsistent. Soon after going on that hot streak with the nine homers, he went into a slump. The slump got so bad that Manager Ron Washington actually took Hamilton out of the lineup for a few days. In 2010, Hamilton’s best year to date, he was named the AL MVP. He was in the running for MVP and the coveted Triple Crown earlier this year but soon fell out of contention. I must point out that he nearly managed to ruin Miguel Cabrera’s spot in history finishing one home run and 11 RBI’s behind Cabrera in the standings. So while it was not the best year by Hamilton standards, it was a better year than most.
It is going to be weird watching Hamilton play in LA next year. That means I will have to stay up later. Hopefully he will have a lot of east coast games. This also means I now have to get another Hamilton shirt. Maybe Santa will bring me one. Maybe I will put a call into the Rally Monkey(the Angels mascot). Maybe he can help me out.
Until next time…TOODELLS.