There are moments when it feels like baseball is being scripted by screenwriters, few of them more vivid than anything having to do with Josh Hamilton.
Every dot on his timeline -- from first overall pick to drug addiction to a remarkable return to that Home Run Derby performance to relapses and onward -- would fit in the arc of a compelling movie character. Things are getting so jammed that there might actually be call for a trilogy to rival anything the comic book characters can put together.
Thanks to DVDs, we now know that even great movie characters have deleted scenes that fall out of the larger narrative because of time constraints. Hamilton's movie is still being written, of course, but Tuesday night presented us with something that will almost certainly only make it onto the home edition.
Hamilton returned to the starting lineup after five days on the bench with a stomach ailment. The sickness cost him 10 pounds, but it doesn't seem to have sapped him of any of his ability to hit the ball. Hamilton tripled in the third inning to plate the first two runs of the game, scored on a subsequent sacrifice fly and added another hit later in the game.
It wasn't a particularly notable game, not for a guy who did what Hamilton did in Baltimore this year, but the return still felt like it made a difference on the Rangers. The offense wasted a golden opportunity to put up a crooked number in the second inning after scoring just two runs on Monday, a somewhat painful reminder of how rocky the offense has been with and without Hamilton of late.
Once Hamilton connected, though, things took a positive turn. The Rangers would score five times after Hamilton's triple, chasing Edinson Volquez from the mound and putting enough on the board to ensure that even Scott Feldman could make it stand up.
Is that lively offensive night coincidental to Hamilton's return? Perhaps. Just because he seems like Roy Hobbs doesn't mean that he actually has the power to make those around him better.
It fits the narrative to argue the other way, even if it does wind up on the cutting room floor when The Josh Hamilton Story hits a theater near you.