Josh Hamilton deserves the fans forgiveness

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During yesterday’s Texas Rangers Fan Fest General Manager Jon Daniels was asked about the possible return of Josh Hamilton. This has been a topic he’s been asked several times during the last few months. These questions keep picking up pace because there have been several rumors that the Los Angeles Angels are looking to deal Hamilton at some point due to his slumping performance.

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Daniels answered the question again about Hamilton yesterday about the odds of Josh Hamilton returning to the Texas Rangers. His response was short and simple by saying “Small”. For the most part his answer wasn’t a surprise neither was the crowd’s cheers showing they agree that Hamilton shouldn’t return to Texas.

It’s been years now since Hamilton left the Rangers for the Angels. I’m not sure which part fans are most angry about with Josh Hamilton. Some think he quit on the team and others basically don’t like him because he left for a divisional rival.

To me it’s hard to understand why so many dislike Hamilton after 5 amazing seasons he spent with the Texas Rangers. He undoubtedly was a huge part of the reason the Rangers went to back-to-back World Series in 2010 and 2011. He was almost the hero in game 6 of the 2011 with his go ahead home run in extra-innings. How would fans remember him if the Rangers wouldn’t have blown the lead again in that game and he had won the World Series MVP?

Over his career with the Texas Rangers Hamilton led the league in RBI with 130 in 2008 and his batting line of .359/.411/.633/1.044 in 2010. During his last season with the Rangers he had 128 RBI with a batting average of .285/.354/.577/.930. To put that in comparison, Adrian Beltre led the Rangers last season with 77 RBI and a batting average of .324. The next best batting average for the Rangers was Leonys Martin at .274.

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So in a year that people thought Josh Hamilton quit he still had some of the best stats overall for the Rangers and some near the top of the league. Part of the problem is Josh will be Josh and often times it means he’s not doing what people expect. He doesn’t react how people expect him to react and that often times makes it seem like he doesn’t care.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think Hamilton does care and has worked very hard to reach the level he’s at today. Last season before sliding into first base Hamilton was having a great season. He had a batting average of .295/.373/.449/.822 with 5 home runs and 26 RBI over 46 games/176 at-bats.

Overall the best time of his career has been the time he spent in Texas. There could be a time that Hamilton gets traded this season. More than likely he won’t come back to Texas and a lot of that could be because the Rangers’ fan base doesn’t want him back. Which to me doesn’t seem right, because Hamilton fought through pain, and addiction while in Texas. He gave the Rangers 5 great years and a few bad moments. Too bad everyone focuses on those bad moments. If the Rangers did some reason trade for Hamilton, I for one would be cheering for his successful return.

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