Never been a big fan of Josh Hamilton. Not even when he was winning the AL MVP award and leading the Rangers to the World Series.
But when the Rangers reacquired him from the rival Angels for next to nothing, I was lined up right there with all the Hamilton fans cheering for his redemption in Arlington, and he gave us moments. But there were nothing more than that — moments.
The Rangers are hoping to get more than just moments from Hamilton in 2016 when, mind you, the Angels will be paying his salary. So far, not so good on that front as Hamilton's twice-repaired knee is still bothering him and the Rangers haven't even begun workouts yet.
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On Wednesday in Surprise, Ariz., where Hamilton reported a week ahead of Rangers pitchers and catchers for spring training, he told the Dallas Morning News he has a pretty clear goal for himself in terms of how many games he'll play in 2016.
"I think that's a realistic and reachable goal," Hamilton said, suggesting he could play 120 games this season. "Coming off all the chaos of last year on and off the field and with everything that took place, I think that's something that can be done. I think we are all on the same page here."
That would be fantastic and be massive for the Rangers in terms of filling their void in left field, but the chances of it happening are basically zilch. In fact, if you set the over/under on games played by Hamilton in 2016 at 80, I'd have a hard time making a decision on which side to take.
Hamilton thinks the latest bout of discomfort is just a sign telling him what he needs to do better in spring training, but that's hard to believe for a 35-year-old (soon-to-be) who probably has the body of a 55-year-old.
"For three weeks, it was completely pain free," Hamilton said. "Maybe what we needed to do is learn how to manage the work load, the weight room, more than the on-the-field stuff."