Josh Hamilton wasted little time in making himself public enemy number one for his former team and former fan base. Hamilton ripped Rangers fans saying they are not true baseball fans.
“There are true baseball fans in Texas, but it’s not a true baseball town. They’re supportive,” Hamilton said about the fans, “but they also got a little spoiled at the same time pretty quickly.” Hamilton added that Dallas has “always been a football town. Hamilton did later clarify he meant the fans got spoiled by the team and their success and not by him as an individual.
Hamilton later tried to back track from his statements by saying, “Everything I talk about is team, man. It’s not saying I don’t still appreciate them, and thank you for cheering for me and all that. But reality’s reality. I think I’ve always spoken the truth in what I said and not beat around the bush. But I loved my time there.”
Rangers skipper Ron Washington had little to say in regards to Hamilton’s remarks. “I’m not answering anything that Josh said. That’s Josh. Josh is an Angel. That’s Josh’s opinion. My opinion is there were 3.5 million fans that came through the turnstiles. That answers it right there,” was Washington’s short response.
Rangers outfielder Dave Murphy added,”We’ve had an absolutely electric environment to where I think visiting teams coming to play us in Arlington probably view it as hostile a place as there is in baseball and that definitely plays to our advantage. I definitely like the way that the fans have come out and supported us. The last few summers have been extremely hot. It’s going to be tough for me to come watch a baseball game when it’s 110 degrees out or 105 degrees out. I really appreciate the way they’ve supported us, especially through all the heat.”
Hamilton later added that he considered New York, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia “baseball towns”. Question then is why did he sign with another non baseball town? How can he criticize Rangers fans for being spoiled if he signed with the Angels, who aren’t in one of his listed “baseball towns.” Hamilton has quickly put foot in mouth.
Even though he has ripped Rangers fans, they most likely weren’t that upset to see him go. He fell apart at the end of last season, and dropped a routine fly ball against the Oakland A’s in a tie game that effectively ended the Rangers season. He then proceeded to strike out in his last at bat as a Ranger, which brought the boo birds from the crowd.
He signed a five-year $125 million deal with the non baseball town Los Angeles Angels this offseason. He joins the ultra overpaid club of Albert Pujos on the Angels roster. Hamilton is the second big name Range the Angels have signed in back to back offseasons, landing pitcher C.J. Wilson last season.
When Hamilton was asked about the response from the Rangers crowd when he returned April 5 for the first time in an Angels uniform his response was, “It will be mixed feelings from the crowd. People who really get it will cheer and the people who don’t will boo. Either way, I’ll do what I got to do to help my team win.”
Until a few reporters showed Dave Murphy Hamilton’s comments he had no idea about them. It looks like not only has Hamilton moved on but so have his old teammates and hopefully Rangers fans. By Steve Kish