Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: October 4, 2:38 PM ET
Josh Hamilton shoulders blame
By Richard Durrett
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said he just messed up on what should have been a routine fly ball to center field that he dropped, allowing the Oakland Athletics to score two runs and break a tie score in Wednesday's AL West-deciding game.
Hamilton came in to catch a fly ball off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes and overran it, allowing the ball to go off his glove and behind him in the fourth inning. The error put the A's up 7-5 and they eventually piled on, winning 12-5.
"I just missed it, man," Hamilton said. "I didn't break down on it like I needed to. When you run a long way in like that, you're supposed to break down on your toes so you can get there and if it moves on you, you can make the adjustment. I didn't. I kept going and it came down and I didn't catch it. It sucks."
After the inning, television cameras caught manager Ron Washington in what appeared to be a lively conversation with Hamilton.
"I just asked him what happened and he told me," said Washington, who didn't want to get into specifics.
Hamilton said it was not a heated exchange.
"He's always animated," Hamilton said. "He asked me what happened and I told him. That's Wash. Wash is animated. Even when he's out there talking to an umpire, you think he's cussing him out but he's just having a conversation with him. That's just Wash."
Hamilton said the sun did not impact him on the ball and that he saw it the whole way.
"You know you've got a high sky here, it takes a little more concentration, a little more of being aware," Hamilton said.
Hamilton finished the season with a .285 average, 43 home runs and 128 RBIs. He also had seven errors.
The slugger said he's confident that he and the team will bounce back as they play in the AL wild-card game. So how do you shake off a rough game and finish?
"The same way we did it last year in the World Series," Hamilton said. "Game 6 was a heartbreaker and we came out in Game 7, scored first and battled. I think it's harder for you guys to believe that we have trouble forgetting about what happened, but that's what we get paid to do is forget about it. We'll be ready for the next game."