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|Josh Hamilton finished Friday 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and also grounded into a double play.|
Eye drops cured him. "I was a hazard to myself and hazard to people out there with the eyes, so no," said Hamilton when asked if he had any regrets about taking himself out against the Angels. When asked if his eyes were still a problem, Hamilton said, "I plead the fifth." Whatever. Hamilton's uninspired play reached an apex with his unforgivable play against Oakland and culminated with his performance against Baltimore. In the first inning with runners on first and third and none out and Joe Saunders struggling to throw strikes, Hamilton swung at the first pitch. He grounded into a double play, though it tied the score at 1. In the third, he struck out on three pitches. In the sixth, he tapped out on one pitch, and he struck out on three pitches in the eighth. Again. Four at-bats. Eight pitches. Four outs. How embarrassing. The Rangers will miss Hamilton's production next season. But they won't miss begging him to play. They won't miss his energy-draining drama. And they won't miss his laissez-faire attitude. See, you can't count on Hamilton because you never know whether he's in a slump. Or a funk. When a hitter slumps, he makes adjustments with his batting stance, studies video and grinds through it. When Hamilton is in a funk, you simply have to wait for him to emerge. Maybe it takes a couple of months, like it did this summer when he hit .202 with eight homers combined in June and July. Then again, maybe he doesn't come out of it at all, which is what happened at the end of this season. Only a fool would sign Hamilton to a deal worth $25 million a year over five, six or seven years. If he acts like this before he gets the mega payday, what in the world will he do once he hits the lotto? Just so you know, Hamilton hit .224 with one homer, five RBIs and 20 strikeouts after he gave up energy drinks. "It sucks, plain and simple," Hamilton said of his performance at the end of the season. "Period. It's over." So is his time in Texas. Hallelujah.