Josh Hamilton won't alter style of play
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A nearly six-week stay on the disabled list with a hairline fracture in his upper arm didn't alter Josh Hamilton's style of play his second game back in the lineup.
|With open arms, Galloway & Company welcome Josh Hamilton back to the Rangers lineup. |
"I see what you’re saying, but you guys have to have something to write about," Hamilton said to a small group of media early Wednesday morning. "If I stop doing that, then I won't be true to myself as a baseball player or true to my teammates or the fans that watch me play the game.
"I just don't get why you keep harping on it. Just expect it out of me. If I get hurt, we’ll continue to do this thing. It’s ridiculous. I can’t worry about that. I never think about it."
So what did all the sliding show?
"That I want to win," Hamilton said. "Isn't that what I get paid for?"
Hamilton had said during his rehab assignment in Double-A Frisco last week that he might tweak his game to avoid some dives and even some headfirst slides.
"I didn't slide in the minors, but it's game time up here," Hamilton said.
Hamilton said sliding the way he did early Wednesday morning is an example of his instincts taking over. He believes that sliding into first base like he did on the infield hit gets him to the bag faster than running.
"I would have been out," said Hamilton about running through the bag instead of sliding. "The inning would not have continued."
Manager Ron Washington said he would have preferred Hamilton not slide to first on that hit, but was relieved when Hamilton got up without any issues.
"He's just playing baseball," Washington said. "It's his instincts. I don't want to take his instincts from him. I don't expect him to change."
Hamilton said if he goes into second base on his stolen base attempt feet first, that he's out.
"It was about giving him the least amount of body he can tag," Hamilton said.
Hamilton then made a headfirst slide into third on a wild pitch and made an impressive move, hesitating as he went into the bag, avoiding the tag and touching the base just before the tag was applied. Hamilton said he knew he was safe.
One thing the running and sliding showed is that Hamilton appears ready to play the field. Washington said Hamilton won't play the outfield before the weekend, but it's clear his body is feeling like it can handle it.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.