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Hamilton Watch: Epic Failure

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Josh Hamilton, after signing with the Angels.

    It probably came to no surprise to Texas Rangers fans who watched Josh Hamilton  flame out as unceremoniously as possible in last year's AL Wild Card Game loss, but the slugger and new Los Angeles Angels outfielder went 0-for-3 in his Cactus League debut with the Angels on Tuesday.

    He swung at the first pitch he saw, and missed -- also not a surprise.

    According to the Los Angeles Times, one of Hamilton's main focuses this spring is to be more selective at the plate.

    "It hasn't been too successful," Hamilton said of his new plan. "I took that for him [hitting coach Jim Eppard]. It was actually a pretty good pitch to hit."

    I'm sure that was said with a smile and a smirk, in classic Hamilton fashion. Pretty soon he'll be telling Los Angeles fans that "it's Josh Hamilton, it's going to be something weird" when he claims his red contacts aren't working in deflecting the hot Arizona sun.

    Hamilton struck out a career-high 162 times last season -- yes, that's an average of once per game -- to lead the American League West in strikeouts.

    According to The Times, when Hamilton hit the first pitch last season, he hit .412 with a home run once every 10.8 at-bats; his overall ratio was once every 13.0 at-bats. His career numbers: .415 with a 11.4-to-1 home run ratio on the first pitch, .304 with a 17.5-to-1 ratio overall.

    But Rangers fans know what can happen when that goes wrong and Hamilton strikes out more times than one can fathom for such a superstar. And it doesn't sound like he'll be changing any time soon.

    "You've got a better chance swinging at three strikes than one," Hamilton said.

    Thank goodness he's gone.