So, one day out from the Josh Hamilton injury and there is plenty being talked about. Was Josh right for calling out his coach? Should he have been sent home? What about that head first slide into home?
First, Hamilton didn't call out his coach. He was asked to explain what happened and that's what he did. You have to respect the honesty and candidness when we so often hear only trite remarks parroted from athlete to athlete. Hamilton said as much Wednesday after catching a lot of heat for the perceived diss of third base coach Dave Anderson.
"I threw him under the bus by telling the truth about what happened? What do you want me to do, lie? People are going to blame who they want to blame," Hamilton said.
After the team's loss to Detroit on Tuesday, Hamilton said from the visitor's clubhouse that the decision to send him home was a "stupid play" and that he didn't think it was a very good idea.
Maybe a little harsh, but it's honest. And, maybe it wasn't a good play, but it was textbook.
With no one guarding home and the opposing catcher trying to make a play -- yeah, try to steal the run. That is the aggessive Rangers baseball that got them into the ALCS and World Series last year. You can't complain about it now just because the AL MVP is on the DL list. It's also hard to fault Hamilton for the head-first slide when he was just lauded for the same move moments before while stretching a double into a triple.
If there is blame to be assigned anywhere then it's got to fall on Hamilton. If he doubts his ability to make it to home plate uninjured or safe, as it seems he did when he nearly prophetically thought, "I don't want to do this, something is going to happen," then stay at third. He can always hash it out in the dugout with Anderson about why he balked on the call. The decision to go or not has got to lie with Hamilton -- do you trust your instincts or trust your coach? Either way, the delay in your step while you figure it out cuts off precious time to actually make the play -- all the more reason to retreat to third.
Hamilton said Wednesday that he doesn't blame Anderson for the injury, nor should he. It's just one of those fluke things that happens over the course of a game or season. And we would have all been foolish to think that someone as injury-prone as Hamilton, who plays as hard as he does, would make it the entire season without getting a little dinged up.
Rangers manager Ron Washington has the right attitude and adds a bit of levity to a tense situation with this quote: "He could have slid feet first and broken his ankle," Washington said. "Anything can happen."
That's the way baseball go.