The Rangers never sniffed the playoffs this season. But, yet, there is reason to rejoice while watching baseball’s postseason.
Namely, the short, swift, oh-so-sweet demises of former Rangers Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson.
As the Angels suffered the embarrassment of having MLB’s best regular-season record only to be swept by the Royals over the weekend, at the forefront of their collapse were the two former players who left Texas in a trail of smugness.
Hamilton went 0 for 13 in the AL Division Series. Wilson last only 2/3 of an inning in last night’s Royals’ romp, turning a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 deficit after only 23 pitches.
Yes, delicious indeed.
There are reasons to pull for the Royals. Manager Ned Yost played for the Rangers at old Arlington Stadium. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain is a devout Cowboys fan in general and a Dez Bryant fanatic in specific. And the Royals are the Rangers’ spring training partners, sharing the same facility in Surprise, Arizona.
And there were a couple of reasons to hate the Angels.
Mostly Hamilton, who left for Anaheim after quitting on the Rangers at the end of 2012. He then, of course, derided the DFW Metroplex for not being a baseball town. Don’t look now, but Hamilton is no longer an elite baseball player.
The superstar who led baseball with a .359 average in 2010 and who hit 43 homers in 2012 in Arlington is just an average player these days. Actually, below-average. In two seasons with the Angels he’s hit only .250 and .263 with only 31 combined homers.
His power is gone. So is his persona.
In hindsight, Hamilton’s career peaked on May 8, 2012 when he hit four homers in a game against the Orioles. He stopped hitting and stopped caring – remember the dropped fly ball at Oakland? – down the stretch of that season and hasn’t earned his money in Anaheim.
Even without the Rangers, the baseball playoffs have been worth watching.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.