Josh Hamilton has put up some amazing numbers for the Texas Rangers this season. He has a career-high, and league-leading, 42 home runs, 123 RBIs and is hitting .287. But just imagine if June and July hadn't happened.
From June 1 to July 31, Hamilton hit .202 with just eight home runs and 27 RBIs before picking his game back up when the calendar turned to August.
His teammate, Adrian Beltre, is hitting .316 with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs. At the rate he's going, he could reach 40 home runs and 110 RBIs. And if he doesn't? He's still the Rangers' MVP for the 2012 season.
He added to that thought on Thursday night when his two-run bomb off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the top of the ninth inning gave the Rangers a 3-1 win over the Angels, basically ending the Angels' season and keeping the A's at a distance after they had won earlier in the day.
In September alone, Beltre has nine home runs and is hitting .317. He hit that home run Thursday night a night after he was out of the lineup and had to undergo an MRI for "intestinal issues". He talked his way into the lineup before the game and won the game for the Rangers.
He's also the best defensive player, not only on his team, but at his position in all of baseball with just eight errors this season while making amazing play after amazing play.
Hamilton hasn't played since Tuesday night, when he was removed from the game while battling sinus problems. Sinus infections are a pain and can be debilitating, there's no question. And we're not questioning Hamilton's grit, but the simple fact that Beltre was begging and pleading his way back into the lineup on Thursday while Hamilton sat for the second straight night puts off an image of the two, fair or not.
When his team needed him most, Beltre delivered. That's an MVP for you.