Ron Washington agrees with Ryan
SportsNation: Hamilton's Focus?
Is Nolan Ryan off-base when he says that Josh Hamilton gives away at-bats? Vote!
The manager, on The Ben and Skin Show on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, said Hamilton wants to perform, but that he needs some more patience.
"A lot of people see things, but they're afraid to say it," Washington said. "That's a fact. He has to stop giving away at-bats, get a little patient, bring the balls in the zone. That's a fact. That's not something someone is making up. That is the fact. Nolan sees it, I see it. Everyone else see(s) it, they just don't say it."
Ryan told ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Galloway and Company on Monday that he felt Hamilton was giving away at-bats at times.
"I think we're all seeing the same thing," Ryan said. "You're right that some of his at bats aren't very impressive from the standpoint that he doesn't work deep into the count, he's swinging at a lot of bad pitches, he just doesn't seem to be locked in at all. So what you're hoping is that his approach will change and he'll start giving quality at bats because there's a lot of those at bats that he just gives away. One of the things I've always commented on is I can't ever say that I ever saw Henry (Hank) Aaron give an at-bat away."
Hamilton, who was the AL player of the month in April and May, has struggled for nearly two months now. He hit .223 in June and .161 in July to see his average drop below .300 in the past few days. He's hitting .290 on the season with 28 homers and 81 RBIs, though he's hit just seven homers since June 1 with 24 RBIs. He had 39 strikeouts the first two months of the season and has 53 since the beginning of June.
Washington talked about Hamilton's release of emotion on Tuesday and he flung his helmet in the tunnel behind the dugout after grounding out just past the mound in the sixth. The slow-roller scored the club's only run, but Hamilton was jammed and unhappy with the at-bat. He went 0-for-4 on the night.
"Hamilton wants to perform just as bad and to a high level as anyone out there," Washington said. "If you were a star, have the star status that Hamilton does and you were doing something and all of a sudden it's not happening and you're doing everything you can to make it happen and it's not happening, all of a sudden you are knocked into reality. This night he showed that emotion. Because he knows the talent that is and he knows he's capable, he contains it. That's what good athletes do. Sometimes you have to let it out. Last night, he let it out and maybe from now on he'll let it out and it won't be so hard on him."
More Texas Rangers coverage
For more news, notes and analysis of the Rangers, check out ESPN Dallas' Rangers Report. Blog
Washington was asked whether he planned to alter the lineup, especially in light of Michael Young's struggles. The veteran is batting .268, has just a .639 OPS and hasn't found the stride that he's had for most of his career. Washington questioned whether changing the order would do anything and he challenged fans to continue to support Young.
"The fans loved Michael Young for what, 12 years here? And now when Michael Young is having a rough time, they're going to do what unloyal poeple do -- run in the other direction?" Washington said. "What type of fans are they? That's the way I look at it.
"There's a possibility I may juggle the lineup. But it's hard to juggle the lineup when you've got everybody in the lineup doing the same thing. What difference is it going to make?"