Josh Hamilton is not going to miss playing in Texas and he is making certain that Rangers fans are not going to miss him.
Recently, in an interview with Gina Miller of CBS 11 in Dallas, Hamilton said,
“Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town. They’re supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time, pretty quickly. There’s true baseball fans in Texas but it’s not a true baseball town.”
He doubled down yesterday when he said:
“I said there’s true baseball fans and then there are others that are not,” Hamilton said. “I said the ones that are true baseball fans won’t boo when I come back, and the ones that are not, will. It’s just like last year, when I got booed after going 2-for-4 in a game, driving in a couple runs, and I struck out the other two times. You understand the Yankees, Boston, Cubs, Phillies — baseball towns. If they were doing that, that’s one thing.”
“I’m not answering anything that Josh said,” Hamilton’s former manager Ron Washington said. “That’s Josh. Josh is an Anaheim Angel. That’s Josh’s opinion. There were 3.5 million fans who came through the turnstiles. That answers it right there.”
The Rangers set an attendance record last season, drawing 3,460,280 fans and I’m sure there were plenty of “pink hats,” the derogatory description that Red Sox Nation has for poseurs and bandwagon fans.
However true it is what Hamilton said, he is the wrong guy to have said it. Hamilton comes in to any environment with a huge collection of baggage and the Rangers fans embraced him. Yes, they booed him a number of times last season but as much as I find it abhorrent for any booing, the fans pay for that right. But beyond that, you can be assured that the most sophisticated baseball community will boo player who gives the impression of having quit on his team and, if Hamilton didn’t actually do that last season, he did a very good impression of someone who did.
In the great book Francona, Dan Shaughnessy and Terry Francona talk about getting “Boston-ed out.” Hamilton clearly got Texas-ed out and he found out that his ocular keratitis ailment excuse last season doesn’t fit the Texas “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” mantra. Here’s hoping Hamilton builds bridges in LA before he continues to burn the ones he left behind.