Josh Hamilton fixes problem
Not everybody can react fast enough. ... I get worried. I didn't feel comfortable. I could tell when it was real hot and I'd spray stuff on my hand and put tar on my bat and it didn't feel good. It was like I didn't want to take a full swing, especially after I threw one.” -- Rangers OF Josh Hamilton
"You can buy it at an auto parts store," Hamilton said Friday. "I just spray it on the bottom of the bat, and the heat doesn't bother it. It's working."
The substance is legal, and the only difference between it and pine tar is that the adhesive holds up in heat.
The slugger said he was concerned every time a bat went flying that he would hurt somebody. And while there's no official count on the number of bats Hamilton has thrown into the seats in 2012, he seemed to be throwing at least one per series. At one point earlier this month at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Hamilton had tossed six bats into the stands in five games.
"I get irritated with myself," Hamilton said. "Not everybody can react fast enough. Some people freeze and don't know want to do. I get worried. I didn't feel comfortable. I could tell when it was real hot and I'd spray stuff on my hand and put tar on my bat and it didn't feel good. It was like I didn't want to take a full swing, especially after I threw one. I thought about it a lot and finally figured out what to do."
Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, believes he's a little more susceptible to tossing the bat in part because of the middle finger on his right hand, which was surgically repaired the summer before his high school season.
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Hamilton was diving for a ball in right field when his right hand, the bottom one on his bat, got jammed in the grass. It shattered his knuckle. He had a pin inserted and the finger does not extend straight or fully bend, so he can lose grip.
Hamilton said he also has a tendency to extend too far on pitches, and that's when the bat would get away from him because he didn't have a strong hold on it. But Hamilton (and some other Rangers, as well) use the adhesive to help with grip.
"I'm glad this is working," Hamilton said. "I was worried."