There's no question that Josh Hamilton ruffled the feathers of just about everyone who calls themselves a Texas Rangers fan, even the ones who just showed up to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this year sporting their pink Hamilton jersey tee.
But it seems as though those wounds might be healing a bit, at least between he and the Rangers front office. It seemed as though he had written his ticket out of town with his collapse down the stretch in 2012, his sitting out a road trip because he drank too much caffeine, his dropped fly ball in the "winner takes the AL West" game against Oakland and more infuriating, his loafing after said ball after it was dropped. Then there was the AL Wild Card Game when he saw a grand total of eight pitches in four at-bats and grounded into a double play.
After all of that, here we are. The market for Josh Hamilton seems to be down to pretty much two teams as of Thursday morning — the Rangers and the offense-starved Seattle Mariners.
The holdup seems to be the term of the deal Hamilton is seeking, which was expected given the fact he was reportedly seeking a seven-year deal. Fat chance there, buddy.
The Rangers are reportedly willing to offer four years for $100 million. All it will take for him to go elsewhere, most likely, is for a team to offer a fifth year.
Jim Bowden, of ESPN and XM Radio, a former MLB GM who likes to throw stuff up against the wall and call it fact had an interesting point, saying Hamilton's top choice is Texas with Seattle as his "fallback."
While what I said of Bowden is true, some of what he says inevitable becomes truth. Go figure.
It seems logical that Texas is Hamilton's first choice: He's comfortable in the clubhouse, he knows his surroundings and the Rangers have done everything in their power to be sure he's in good hands with his addiction-riddled past, and present for that matter.
Again, if the talk gets above four years, it's believed the Rangers will bow out. And all it takes is one team to drive it up, see Prince Fielder last year at this time.
But still, Hamilton said back in the spring that he didn't owe the Rangers anything when asked if he'd give a hometown discount this winter. Though Hamilton might have scoffed at the idea, he might be doing just that even though it's completely out of his hands.