Josh Hamilton's much-awaited return to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington with the hated AL West rival Los Angeles Angels went one of two ways depending on who you are.
If you're a Rangers fan, it was awesome. If you're Hamilton, it couldn't have gotten much worse, and we're not just talking about his on-field performance or the fact the Angels lost the series with the Rangers' 7-3 win Sunday night in the rubber match.
Hamilton went scorched Earth from the beginning when he attended a press conference prior to Friday's home opener and addressed the boos that were sure to come while saying his previous comments of DFW not being a baseball town were a "nightmare." Then, after he got his expected medicine from the Rangers fans, struck out twice and went 0-for-4 in a Rangers win, he spoke to the media again saying he wouldn't take back his comments until the Rangers sold out every game for the next 30 years and he was happy he could be the spark that Rangers fans needed to show a little passion -- lots of really insightful stuff, for sure.
Hamilton's wife had to call security while sitting in the stands with the couple's kids -- not good, but not surprising either. The Rangers provided the Hamilton clan a suite for Saturday's and Sunday's games, but what were they thinking, and what was Hamilton thinking, by sitting in the stands Friday in a game that was sure to involve lots of venom rained down on their husband/father. Not excusing that behavior at all, but it's just more drama, and that's what Hamilton seems to thrive on.
Hamilton went 0-for-4 with a walk, run and two more strikeouts in the Angels' win on Saturday, while interacting with fans and just being not-so PR savvy again.
On Sunday, Hamilton went 3-for-5 with a run but his team lost 7-3 and fans showered him with "baseball town" chants while he made gestures toward them in right field -- what he called "football signs" but what some fans reported as obscene gestures.
Hamilton said he made no obscene gestures, and it's doubtful he did, but that's about the only pass Hamilton gets for his weekend back home, you know, where Jesus "was got after" the most.
For those who don't remember, in Friday's postgame he told a story we've all heard from Hamilton before, about how Jesus was crucified by his own people where he'd done so much good. Of course, getting booed and crucified are two completely different things, but to Hamilton it's all on the same plane.
It'll be interesting to see how much Angels manager Mike Scioscia is willing to put up with this season when it comes to Hamilton and his inevitable drama. Scioscia isn't known as the players' manager Ron Washington is. He's more of the no-nonsense type of guy, and Hamilton was all nonsense on Sunday night, openly interacting with fans during a game his team was losing badly.
We've said it before, and we'll say it until we're blue in the face: Hamilton had some great moments as a Ranger and should be appreciated for those moments, but his lack of a filter and just overall stupidity in terms of public relations is reason enough to be ever-so-thankful that we don't have to put up with his drama anymore.