July 28, 2012

Rangers give beleaguered Josh Hamilton day off

The slump-ridden star won't reveal why he got off course in his faith.

ARLINGTON -- The week that was for Josh Hamilton ended Saturday with a much-needed day off to rest his body and his mind while in the midst of the most prolonged skid of his career.

Manager Ron Washington said that Hamilton needed a day for mental rest, though the Texas Rangers outfielder said it was more important to rest his body.

But Hamilton is more than mind and body. He has a spiritual side that he wears on his sleeve and that must be in order for the rest of his life to be on an even keel.

As Hamilton met with the media for a third straight game, he provided details about how things will be looking up for him on the baseball field because he once again has been put on the right course with his faith.

However, he wouldn't reveal what got him off course so much that he has slumped to a .119 average (7 for 59) the past 16 games.

"I'm cool, man. I'm really good," Hamilton said. "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 admitted that he gets in trouble when he thinks too much and doesn't trust the things that have made him successful in the past. His 83 RBIs were good for a share of the major league lead, but he has only 26 the past two months and 10 in July.

Two of those came Friday, though without a hit on a night when he was booed at Rangers Ballpark.

"You can't ever say what fans are thinking," Washington said. "I guess that was their dissatisfaction. I have no problem with that because they boo me."

Washington said that Hamilton might be taking the brunt of the boos because he is, as Reggie Jackson said he was, "the straw that stirs the drink."

Veteran Michael Young, who is hitting 34 points below his career .304 average, said that it's unfair for Hamilton to be singled out when the entire lineup is struggling.

"We are a team," Young said. "Whenever we're going great, the focus should be on team. If we're having a stretch where things don't have to go our way, the focus is on team."

No Hamilton gave the Rangers a unique lineup. Adrian Beltre replaced Hamilton as the No. 3 hitter and was followed by Nelson Cruz, David Murphy and Young.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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