Tuesday, February 19, 2013
A 'true baseball town' would boo Josh Hamilton
By Tim MacMahon
Man, we’ll miss Josh Hamilton around these parts.
By we, I mean the media. It really stings to have such an endless source of drama leave our little football town. Other than the Cowboys, of course, nobody filled more sports talk radio segments over the last five years than Hamilton, whether we were discussing his baseball brilliance or his bizarreness.
Hamilton gave us another hefty dose of the bizarre when he sat down with CBS 11’s Gina Miller last week and felt the need to mention that this is not a “true baseball town.” That’s actually an arguable point despite the fact that the Rangers ranked third in the majors in attendance last season, but Hamilton’s take on how fans will react to his Arlington return is bass ackwards, even by his hypocritical standards.
"People who really get it will cheer and the people who don't will boo,” Hamilton said.
Hate to tell Hamilton, but a true baseball town would rain boos on any player who quit on his team during a pennant race and then signed with the arch rival in free agency. When Hamilton gets booed April 5 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, it’ll be an indication that folks around here get it, not the other way around.
Heck, there’s no better baseball town than Boston and they booed Johnny Damon every time he returned to Fenway Park wearing the pinstripes of the hated Yankees. And Damon actually played hard every day he suited up for the Red Sox.
It’s hilarious to hear Hamilton hint about anyone else’s low baseball IQ, but it’s not like you need to be a scout or sabermetrician to recognize when a star puts a stamp on the season in the middle of a pennant race. It’s pretty obvious when you see a guy miraculously cured from ocular keratitis jog after a misplayed fly ball or weakly wave at three pitches before walking back to the dugout.
That’s why the folks who Hamilton referred to with the hashtag #bestfansinbaseball midway through last season have every right to let the Angels’ $125 million man hear it.
Let’s put this in terms Hamilton ought to be able to understand: Rangers fans don’t owe him anything.