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Josh Hamilton Free Agency (UPDATE: Signs with Angels)

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by CometsWin, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    I haven't read a piece ripping a player like this in a while. It'll be very interesting who ponies up money for Hamilton. He's a little like Mario Williams, incredibly talented but doesn't seem to have that motor that makes him want to be a special player. He had a phenomenal year overall but who would want to rely on this guy to lead your franchise? Are the Yankees going to jump in on a guy like this? I could see him completely melting down in a place like New York. I wonder if the Dodgers would take a look. It'll be interesting.

    Josh Hamilton's act has grown old
    http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/8466953/texas-rangers-josh-hamilton-poster-boy-collapse

    ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' fans, frustrated with their superstar's continued indifference, finally booed the man with baseball's sweetest swing Friday night.

    It was long overdue.

    Josh Hamilton, as talented as any player in the game, earned the fans' wrath with yet another lethargic performance in the Baltimore Orioles' 5-1 win over the Rangers in the American League wild-card game.

    Hamilton's dropping a routine fly ball and casually chasing it three days ago against Oakland will be the lasting image of one Major League Baseball's historic collapses.

    No team has ever led a division for 178 days without winning it until Hamilton led the Rangers into baseball's annals with one of the sorriest end-of-the-season performances we've ever seen.

    The Rangers blew a five-game lead with nine to play and a four-game lead with six to play.

    Shameful.

    Hamilton led the way.

    Thankfully, the Rangers' fan base finally yanked his pass and let him feel their anger when Hamilton meekly tapped out to the pitcher in the sixth inning with the Rangers trailing by a run.

    The throng of 46,931 booed him lustily as he returned to the dugout with a familiar smirk.

    "To the fans," Hamilton said after the game, "it has been a good ride -- no matter if you send me off with boos, I still love you."

    Rangers' Offense Fizzles Again

    The potent bats that have carried the Rangers in recent seasons have disappeared in the team's final postseason game each of the past three years. Not surprisingly, each resulted in a loss. Here's a look:

    Fans cheered Hamilton when he stepped into the batter's box with Ian Kinsler on second base and two outs in the eighth. They yearned for one more magical moment from Hamilton, who had 43 homers and 128 RBIs this season.

    He struck out on three fastballs. They booed again.

    Lustily.

    "You think about it, you do," Hamilton said of what should be his final at-bat as a Ranger. "Then the boos slowly drown it out. It's part of the game. It doesn't matter if I play here or somewhere else.

    "You'd like to think it wouldn't happen here, but it does. It's just one of those things. I gave it my all like I always do. I came up short and didn't get the job done. Overall, I had a great year."

    Hamilton was at his passive-aggressive best. The boos didn't bother him, but he kept talking about them. Just like he kept talking about how hard he plays every day.

    It's irrelevant, really.

    He quit on this team when he removed himself in the fourth inning against the Angels on Sept. 18, in the first game of an important six-game road trip, because he had a sinus infection. Or was it blurry vision?

    Hamilton finally found a doctor to tell him he was suffering from ocular keratitis, which occurs when folks ingest too much caffeine. Of course, his manager said he'd never seen Hamilton drink coffee. Hamilton blamed it on energy drinks.

    Eye drops cured him.

    "I was a hazard to myself and hazard to people out there with the eyes, so no," said Hamilton when asked if he had any regrets about taking himself out against the Angels.

    When asked if his eyes were still a problem, Hamilton said, "I plead the fifth."

    Whatever.

    Hamilton's uninspired play reached an apex with his unforgivable play against Oakland and culminated with his performance against Baltimore.

    In the first inning with runners on first and third and none out and Joe Saunders struggling to throw strikes, Hamilton swung at the first pitch. He grounded into a double play, though it tied the score at 1.

    In the third, he struck out on three pitches. In the sixth, he tapped out on one pitch, and he struck out on three pitches in the eighth.

    Again.

    Four at-bats. Eight pitches. Four outs.

    How embarrassing.

    The Rangers will miss Hamilton's production next season. But they won't miss begging him to play. They won't miss his energy-draining drama. And they won't miss his laissez-faire attitude.

    See, you can't count on Hamilton because you never know whether he's in a slump. Or a funk.

    When a hitter slumps, he makes adjustments with his batting stance, studies video and grinds through it. When Hamilton is in a funk, you simply have to wait for him to emerge.

    Maybe it takes a couple of months, like it did this summer when he hit .202 with eight homers combined in June and July. Then again, maybe he doesn't come out of it at all, which is what happened at the end of this season.

    Only a fool would sign Hamilton to a deal worth $25 million a year over five, six or seven years.

    If he acts like this before he gets the mega payday, what in the world will he do once he hits the lotto?

    Just so you know, Hamilton hit .224 with one homer, five RBIs and 20 strikeouts after he gave up energy drinks.

    "It sucks, plain and simple," Hamilton said of his performance at the end of the season. "Period. It's over."

    So is his time in Texas.

    Hallelujah.
     
  2. J.R.

    J.R. Member

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    So they aren't going to re-sign him or is that the writer's speculation?

    Hard to pinpoint potential teams.

    Never say never with the Yankees but doesn't seem likely. Red Sox rebuilding. Dodgers spent that money in-season and they have Kemp, Either, and Crawford coming back. Victorino a FA, which they could re-sign. Angels not likely. Tigers not likely. Nationals not likely. If he doesn't return to Texas, interesting to see where he goes, how many years and how much.
     
  3. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    I think he's speculating but it doesn't sound like they're very happy with him. I remember earlier in the year Nolan Ryan ripped him a little bit regarding his pitch selection. The way he played in that Oakland game was pretty brutal. His effort just seemed lacking. Combine that with his alcohol problems that seem to be a constant struggle for him and anyone would have to be very nervous to give this guy a huge contract even if his performance overall merits it.

    You're right about the Dodgers, they're probably not a player unless they move someone. Maybe the Cardinals? The Giants? Hamilton could not handle Boston. They would eat him alive.
     
  4. J.R.

    J.R. Member

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    Yeah, once you get past your 'big spenders', hard to say.

    The ____ spent that money on him?! :eek:

    :p

    Probably some of the teams I say no to will be in the race to sign him.
     
  5. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    Why would God allow the fans to boo him?

    Does he thank God for that too?
     
  6. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    It looks like the Rangers are going to let someone else set the market.

    Josh Hamilton to test open market
    http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story...milton-test-open-market-making-contract-offer

    The Texas Rangers will not be making any offers to Josh Hamilton before he hits the open market in free agency.

    Clubs have a chance to negotiate with their own prospective free agents, but Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the team agreed with Hamilton's representatives that the slugger would test the market, so they'll wait to see how it shakes out.

    "If you've gone this far, you're going to test the market," Daniels said. "The realities are when a guy goes out and tests the market and it's this close, you're not going to pre-empt it. I think he's going to go out and test the market and see what's out there and get back to us.

    "No door has been closed. We're also very realistic about when a star player hits free agency at this point and the history of them returning to their original club. So we have to prepare both ways and prepare the club for the possibility that he's not back."

    Hamilton, 31, just completed his fifth season in Texas and batted .285 with 43 home runs and 128 RBIs. But he struggled at the finish, missing five contests in a crucial six-game road trip because of vision problems diagnosed as ocular keratitis. Hamilton said too much caffeine was to blame, and when he cut down on his sports-drink consumption, his condition improved.

    Hamilton didn't hit well as the season ended, and he had a memorable fielding error in the AL West-deciding game in Oakland, dropping a shallow fly ball in center field that turned a tie game into a 7-5 lead for the Athletics, who went on to win the game 12-5, and thus the division.

    Hamilton was 0-for-4 in Friday's AL wild-card game loss to Baltimore, seeing eight pitches. He had six swinging strikes and struck out on three pitches as the tying run late in the game. But CEO Nolan Ryan said the Rangers won't let one bad stretch determine how they approach Hamilton in the offseason.

    "I think Josh would have probably liked to have finished stronger, and we would have liked to have seen him finish stronger," Ryan said. "Will it impact our position going forward? No, I don't think so. I think we'll consider the entire season because it is an entire season that affects the outcome.

    "They'll go out and see what the market will bear and we'll see where we are at some point in time."
     
  7. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    They'd be idiots to match what I'm sure will be a ridiculously huge long-term offer....

    but letting him go will also create a massive hole in their lineup. You don't replace 128 RBI's easily.
     
  8. Nook

    Nook Member

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    What ever...... Hamilton has been a monster in that Rangers line up the last 5 years.

    He is 31 years old and you never know how long he will last, but he is a top 3 hitter the last 5 years and deserves compensation.

    I wouldn't give him $150,000,000 but if you can get him for 3 years at $25,000,000 a year you have to do it.
     
  9. 713

    713 Member

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  10. Ricksmith

    Ricksmith Contributing Member

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    I'm gonna laugh when Miami offers him some ludicrous amount.
     
  11. dharocks

    dharocks Contributing Member

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    I'd be surprised if he didn't land in San Francisco.
     
  12. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Too bad Salt Lake doesn't have a team. He needs the driest city possible. Hope he goes to the NL. The Astros could use a break.
     
  13. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Somebody's gonna give him 5 years....the Rangers won't likely match that.
     
  14. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    I think Boston. They'll have loads of cash and they need a splash.

    But I'm not sure how he'd handle the fans there if he got upset about the "fans" in Arlington.
     
  15. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    The Cardinals did OK. :)
     
  16. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    After spending all that money on guys like Crawford & Lackey who couldn't stay on the field, I think they might be gun shy for a guy like Hamilton.

    I think he stays with the Rangers. 5 years $115M.
     
  17. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    As a fan of a future division rival of the Rangers, I pray they tie themselves up to that kind of money over 5 years. Keep giving long term deals to guys over 30.
     
  18. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

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    I am hopeful as well. Hamilton in particular is a ticking time bomb over that period. Lets let the Astros rebuild and watch as bad contracts pollute Texas and LAA. :grin:
     
  19. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    Nolan is still ripping Hamilton. I hadn't heard about this though.

    Nolan Ryan Criticizes Josh Hamilton
    http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/story/_/id/8490251/josh-hamilton-waited-quit-chewing-tobacco

    Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan said the timing of Josh Hamilton's decision to quit smokeless tobacco this summer "couldn't have been worse."

    "You would've liked to have thought that if he was going to do that, that he would've done it in the offseason or waited until this offseason to do it," Ryan said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Galloway and Company" this week. "So the drastic effect that it had on him and the year that he was having up to that point in time when he did quit, you'd have liked that he would've taken a different approach to that."

    Hamilton, who began his quest to quit dipping in late June, admitted in August that he was dealing with a "discipline" issue and said it was discipline at the plate and discipline in "being obedient to the Lord in quitting chewing tobacco."

    His struggle with tobacco coincided with the one at the plate. After earning AL player of the month honors in April and May, Hamilton hit .223 in June and .177 in July and had eight homers and 27 RBIs combined in those two months. He had belted 21 homers and driven in 57 RBIs in the first two months of the season combined.

    Chewing tobacco wasn't his only issue; he missed five games in September with blurred vision and balance issues that were attributed to a drying of the cornea caused by too much caffeine.

    Rangers officials said then that Hamilton, 31, saw an optometrist and was diagnosed with ocular keratitis.

    "I was loading up on caffeine, and I'm out there in the bright lights," Hamilton said then. "I can't control my eyes. They are stuck."

    Hamilton finished the season in disappointing fashion, dropping a routine fly ball in center field in the division-deciding game Oct. 3 with Oakland. The error turned a 5-5 game into a 7-5 A's lead, and Oakland ended up winning the AL West title, snatching it from the Rangers, who blew a five-game lead with nine to play.

    Hamilton was 0-for-4 in Friday's AL wild-card game loss to the Baltimore Orioles. He saw eight pitches in those four at-bats and swung at six of them. He struck out late in the game on three pitches as he represented the tying run.

    Ryan was asked if he believed Hamilton "quit" on the club down the stretch.

    "You know, that's really a tough term to say somebody quit," Ryan said. "He had an issue, he was under a magnifying glass and things didn't go well. If he would have gotten a couple of hits in those key situations or if he hadn't dropped that ball in Oakland, would people be saying that? No, they wouldn't be saying that. It didn't look good. But do I think he quit? I have no reason to think he quit. It didn't go well. It didn't look good and only Josh knows what was in his heart and what was in his mind."

    Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said this week that the club will not offer Hamilton a contract before he reaches the open market as a free agent.

    "If you've gone this far, you're going to test the market," Daniels said. "The realities are when a guy goes out and tests the market and it's this close, you're not going to pre-empt it. I think he's going to go out and test the market and see what's out there and get back to us.

    "No door has been closed. We're also very realistic about when a star player hits free agency at this point and the history of them returning to their original club. So we have to prepare both ways and prepare the club for the possibility that he's not back."

    Despite his two-month slump and the way the season ended, Hamilton still managed to hit .285 and finish with 43 home runs and 128 RBIs.
     
  20. BigBird

    BigBird Contributing Member

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    too much risk with Hamilton. Age is a factor as well as his fragile soberness
     

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