Every now and then, we in Texas like to take a peek at how our old friend Josh Hamilton is doing in his new stomping grounds in Anaheim for the hated Angels, and basically every time you check for an update, the results are pleasing to the ears of Rangers fans everywhere who relentlessly boo Hamilton when he comes to the plate in Arlington these days.
On Sunday, fans didn't even get a chance to boo Hamilton in the series finale against the Angels after the former AL MVP asked for a day off as he tries to find his old dominance with his new team.
Hamilton, of course, took the baseball world by storm with a well-known story of personal redemption when he won the MVP award in 2010 and led the Rangers to their first World Series, and followed the same path in 2011 despite missing a month on the disabled list.
In 2012, Hamilton got off to a scorching start and looked to be a runaway favorite to win a second MVP award in three years before an epic tank job over the final three months of the season ended with the Rangers losing in the AL Wild Card Game after Hamilton whiffed throughout the game in his final appearance in a Rangers uniform.
That offseason, Hamilton signed a huge $133 million contract with the Angels, and so far, the deal has been a colossal failure. Last season, Hamilton struggled to a .250 batting average with 21 homers and 158 strikeouts, nearly double his total from his 2010 MVP season. This year, Hamilton missed six weeks early on with a broken hand, and is now hitting .265 with eight homers and 35 RBIs.
After Hamilton asked for a day on Sunday, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had some brutally honest, somewhat scathing remarks about his former all-star slugger.
"Josh is not the same that we saw when we were looking at the other dugout,” Scioscia told reporters. “He’s not in the batter’s box with the confidence we know he has. He’s not attacking the ball like he can. He’s working hard to try to find it …but we need him to do what he’s capable of doing, or close to that.”
And that's the problem, so far in his stay in Anaheim, it hasn't come anywhere near being close to his Texas production.
With all of Hamilton's problems and no real sign of a turnaround, Rangers fans have to grin every time they think about the fact the Angels owe him $25 million next season and then $32 million in each of the next two seasons.
Scioscia is probably not grinning.