In case you missed it, Josh Hamilton signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim today. Five years, $125 mil. Two high dollar players now for the Angels, signed past their 37th birthdays.
Based on the info we have so far, Josh Hamilton’s official exit from the Rangers radar contained as much class and substance as his on field play the last two months of the season. While Jon Daniels didn’t plan on Josh keeping good on his promise to bring a number back to the team, it’s a good thing because he didn’t. It begs the question so many of us had at the end of the season. Who is Josh Hamilton and what happened?
Many Ranger fans will be tortured by this. We knew what he was capable of. While he was very streaky throughout his Ranger run, I don’t believe enough attention was paid to exactly how bad he was the latter part of 2012. His post All-Star Break numbers were a meager .259 with 16 homers and a bloated 86 K’s. But numbers don’t matter as much as his lackluster effort and countering the way pitchers pitched to him. His problems were so confounding I read two articles that said there couldn’t be an accurate WAR number figured for Josh, by anyone.
I will admit, I was not a fan of re-signing him. But it wasn’t because he didn’t come through in the clutch, or his flagging numbers. It was those intangible things including the famous fly-ball incident in Oakland. Not even that he was lazy in the field, but his reaction to being called out on it. I am big on accountability. I don’t agree with some blog writers that say it was uninformed fickle fans who turned on Josh late in the season. No, I say it was fans who had been watching the “great tobacco-less debacle of 2012”. They saw a man change before their eyes. A man, who while always wasn’t successful, faced all challenges in an admirably fearless way, become a careless, carefree player who appeared to be waiting out an imaginary clock.
I think its bad sports karma to pull against someone. That said, I will throw caution to the wind and say I would hope that the Angels see the first half Albert Pujols and the second half Josh Hamilton…all season. It may prove the old adage un-true. Sometimes you don’t get what you pay for.