In Wednesday's blowout loss to Cleveland to conclude a successful 7-2 nine-game road trip, the Rangers' newest addition did just about everything you'd expect to see in a Josh Hamilton game.
There was a strikeout, a boneheaded, super-aggressive play on the bases that resulted in an out and an earth-shattering crash into the outfield wall to come down with a fly ball. Josh Hamilton did it all.
Just six pitches into the game, Hamilton went crashing into the left field wall to catch a fly ball in dramatic fashion, reminding us all that Hamilton plays at his own speed and with his own sense of danger — full throttle, all the time. He got up a bit slowly, but soon shook it off and was no worse for the wear.
In fact, Hamilton also made a couple of other nice grabs in left field and made a great play off a carom to hold a sure double to a hard single with a nice throw to second base.
But the real highlight of Wednesday's game for Hamilton was his first base hit — an opposite-field single that squirted between third base and shortstop into left field. For whatever reason, Hamilton turned on the jets as he rounded first base and decided to try to get a double with his team down by double-digits. He, of course, was thrown out by five feet before being greeted in the dugout with cheers and laughter.
"That was the most fun I've ever had being thrown out at second," he told reporters, smiling. "It was a pretty good day all around."
At least he seems to be having fun, right?
Now things will get really fun on Thursday night when Hamilton makes his return to Globe Life Park as a member of the Rangers after he was lustily booed in his final game in a Rangers uniform in 2012 — the Rangers' Wild Card Game loss to Baltimore. It was an ugly sendoff that got even uglier when he returned with the Angels in 2013 and 2014.
Now, he's a Ranger, and his reception ought to be pretty warm. Now, if he can match his happiness to his play, we might have a nice addition on our hands.