Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Don't boo Josh Hamilton on April 5
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers revealed today that the home opener of the 2013 season on April 5 against the Los Angeles Angels will start at 1:05 p.m. CT. That means Josh Hamilton's debut against his former team will be in the day. Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million deal with the Angels in December.
For those wondering, Hamilton hit .269 during his Ranger career in the day and .317 at night. But it's worth pointing out that it wasn't an issue for him last season, batting .311 with 11 homers in 38 days games.
Now that the time is set and the season gets even closer, I'm curious what fan reaction to Hamilton that day will be. Personally, I think Rangers fans should cheer him when he's introduced for the first time. I know things didn't end well here (I don't need to remind you of the dropped ball in center or the 0-for-4 on eight pitches in the AL wild-card game, do I?) and now he's playing for a big-time division rival, but Hamilton's ability helped get the Rangers to two consecutive World Series.
He won an AL MVP in 2010 in Texas. He hit .285 in 2012 with 43 homers and 128 RBIs. In 2011, Hamilton hit .298 with 25 homers and 94 RBIs in 121 games.
I know he created some drama and dealt with his alcohol addiction off the field, not to mention missing five games of one of the club's final road trips and his bat going MIA down the stretch in 2012. But step back and look at the big picture. He was a consistent No. 3 hitter who provided too many memorable moments to be booed, if you ask me.
Do you agree? What will you do when Hamilton is introduced in the early afternoon of Friday, April 5 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington?