Last weekend, Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers seemed to have something of a press junket, speaking with multiple reporters specifically about his struggles of late. While the outfielder and former American League Most Valuable Player listed the typical cliches to most of the assembled as a means of explaining his current slump, which has led to monthly declines in the slugger’s wOBA to the point of irrelevance in the Rangers lineup, he said a little bit extra to beat writer Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram.
There’s so much more involved. I don’t know. I’m cool, man. I’m really good. The frustrating part is this [dealing with the media] and not being able to share everything with you guys. When the time is right, I’ll be honest with you, you’ll be right in the loop.
I’ve been shown a lot of things over the past week. There’s disobedience and there’s obedience to God. I’ve been being disobedient. It may be a small thing to you, but it’s a big thing to him. There’s consequences. It’s like a father and a kid. There are disciplines. You guys can chew on that and think about it.
Hamilton, quite infamously, is a recovering drug and alcohol addict, whose most recent known relapse was just back in February at a bar in Fort Worth, Texas. After his drinking that night became public, Hamilton issued a somber apology. His openness in dealing with his addiction has never been questionable, but the cryptic words he used with Wilson indicate something bigger under the surface that’s affecting his performance on the field.
It’s useless to speculate as to what it is that’s bothering Hamilton: another relapse, marital problems, money troubles or it could even be that him and his family have decided to convert from Christianity to atheism.
His original comments all likely would’ve been lost in the weekend news cycle if not for manager Ron Washington being asked about the topic on something called the Ben and Skin Show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. While it’s quite awesome that Washington refers to himself in the third person, his choice of words left more questions than necessary, and did little but pique the prying public’s curiosity rather than quell any storm.
The issues is something that I think Josh would definitely have to be the one to expose. It’s certainly not physical. It has nothing to do with injuries. Josh is the one that made the statement and got all the inquiries going, and I think Josh is the one that has to put a rest to the inquiries, not Ron Washington. I can just tell you one thing: It is not because he’s hurt.
Yep. Wow. Thanks for your help, Wash. The term is “no comment.”
No matter the cause of his troubles, Hamilton has struggled the last couple of months after starting out the season incredibly strongly. While a lot has been made of his free swinging ways, it’s a little more complicated than pitchers merely figuring him out after almost 3000 plate appearances. Nonetheless, this should be of concern for everyone involved with the Rangers:
- April wRC+: 211
- May wRC+: 202
- June wRC+: 92
- July wRC+: 49
That is not a very good trend. That’s stating the obvious, but sometimes it’s better to state the obvious than merely suggest it cryptically.
And The Rest
Josh Hamilton’s Texas Rangers and their lethal rivals Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim played in the greatest game of all time ever last night. [FanGraphs]
The Rangers, a busy team of late, have also called up third base prospect Mike Olt, who should be able to provide an immediate impact with his bat. [Baseball Time In Arlington]
The Cleveland Indians have designated pitcher Derek Lowe for assignment. [CBS Cleveland]
New York Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler was promoted to Triple A. [Mets Merized]
The Tampa Bay Rays have released Hideki Matsui. [Rays Index]
There’s a new look outfield in Philadelphia. [Crashburn Alley]
The Los Angeles Dodgers designated Bobby Abreu for assignment. [True Blue L.A.]
Are the Milwaukee Brewers going to be in win now mode, or win now again mode next season? [Disciples Of Uecker]
Roughly 24 hours after being traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Seattle Mariners, Eric Thames hit a home run for the Seatttle Mariners against the Toronto Blue Jays. [Lookout Landing]
Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos discusses his team’s deadline dealings with multiple media outlets. [DJF]
The Hunter Pence era did not go off with a bang in San Francisco. [McCovey Chronicles]
A brief look at some terrible, terrible Minor League and Japanese League logos. [Productive Outs]