Texas Rangers fans will know enough to boo Josh Hamilton

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

lebreton He came here as Lazarus.

But now he’s nothing but a Judas, dressed in Angels clothing.

Have it your way, Josh Hamilton.

Galloway and Big Mac: Josh Hamilton spouts off

He could have departed Texas on friendlier, godlier, more gracious terms.

Instead, Hamilton hasn’t been humble enough to see there was another way.

Speaking Sunday to CBS 11’s Gina Miller in Arizona, Hamilton awkwardly sought to deflect the blame on him for the Texas Rangers’ late-season 2012 collapse.

“There are true baseball fans in Texas,” Hamilton said, “but it’s not a true baseball town.”

A true baseball town, Hamilton seemed to be trying to say, wouldn’t have pointed fingers at him as the Rangers squandered a five-game division lead in the season’s final eight days.

A true baseball town, Hamilton seemed to suggest, would have understood when he took himself out of a key late-September series against the Angels.

A true baseball town wouldn’t have dwelled on his dropping that fly ball in Oakland and for meekly striking out in the wild-card game against the Orioles.

Real fans would understand, Hamilton appeared to say.

Bad fans would boo.

He’s on to us, apparently. At one particularly nauseating point in the CBS 11 interview, Hamilton turned his head to the camera and winked knowingly as he accused Rangers fans of being spoiled.

Have it your way, Josh Hamilton.

Much of the post-interview rhetoric, unfortunately, has been spent debating the popularity of tackle football on the North Texas sporting landscape.

But I decline to think that was Hamilton’s point.

He was calling you out. He was saying that fans here aren’t savvy enough to understand what really happened last season as the Rangers fell apart.

As if he is.

Never mind that the entire clubhouse was aghast when he took himself out of the opener of an important mid-September series in Anaheim. Never mind that the manager chose to confront him after Hamilton botched the fly ball in Oakland.

Never mind that the Rangers were so concerned about Hamilton’s long-range dependability that they allowed him to shop his wares on the free agent market — a move that wife Katie likened to “letting us give our hearts away.”

Oh, please, lady.

Hers and Josh’s hearts had a price tag on them. What’s that say about the courtship with the Angels?

Free agency happens. Tough baseball decisions are made every off-season.

But most players and teams make them and move on.

Hamilton seems to still be bothered by the unseemly way the 2012 season ended. He should be.

But he could have defused that easily last December when he was introduced to the Angels crowd in Anaheim. He could have thanked Rangers fans and the organization for standing behind him for five seasons.

For giving him an “accountability partner” to guide him on road trips. For not abandoning him after the two incidents when his behavior strayed.

Instead, Hamilton chose the less enlightened way out. He tried to blame someone else, like an addict usually does.

There is a reported movement afoot to greet Hamilton with silence when he returns to Rangers Ballpark for the first time.

Such a gesture, let me suggest, would go right over Josh’s curly head.

He needs to be booed — booed for not having the courage to accept the price of his free-agent decision.

Booed for blaming you, the people who embraced him and cheered for him and prayed for him for five sometimes-stormy seasons.

But have it your way, Josh Hamilton.

Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @gilebreton

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, November 21Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 21Full Scoreboard
Orlando «105Final | Box
Phoenix «122Final | Box
Detroit89Final | Box
Atlanta «99
Milwaukee83Final | Box
Toronto «124
Boston100Final | Box
Memphis «117
San Antonio «121Final | Box
Brooklyn «94Final | Box
Oklahoma City92
Cleveland78Final | Box
Washington «91
LA Lakers106Final | Box
Dallas «140
New Orleans974th Qtr 0:34 | Box
Denver114TV: FSN-NO, Altitude
Utah262nd Qtr 5:46 | Box
Golden State42TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-BA
Chicago272nd Qtr 8:37 | Box
Portland39TV: ESPN, WGN, CSN-NW
Full Scoreboard
Week 12Full Scoreboard
Kansas City20Final | Box
Oakland «24Gridiron Replay
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
St. Louis 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: FOX
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Seattle TV: FOX
Miami 4:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS
Washington 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: CBS
Dallas 8:30 PM ET
NY Giants TV: NBC
NY Jets 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Baltimore 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, November 21Full Scoreboard
NY Islanders «5Final(SO) | Box
Boston «4Final(SO) | Box
NY Rangers0Postponed | Box
New Jersey23rd Prd | Box
Edmonton0TV: MSG+, MSG+2, SN-W
Full Scoreboard