Though most Texas Rangers fans knew that Josh Hamilton and the ballclub would likely part ways this off-season, some of the recent comments made by the former Ranger outfielder and his wife have left many fans a bit angry.
Sure, most fans were frustrated with Hamilton this season, as many felt that he wasn’t giving his all to the team towards the end of the season. He seemed distracted. Almost like he had given up.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that during his five-year stint with the team, Hamilton was beloved by fans who welcomed him, dark past and all, with loving arms.
Yet lately, Hamilton’s legacy among the Ranger faithful has been a bit tarnished, and the press conference that he and his wife recently held to announce his signing with the Los Angeles Angels, really didn’t help matters.
For Texas fans, it wasn’t just that Hamilton signed with their divisional rival; instead, it was the comments he made in doing so, and the apparent digs at this old team. Frustrated that the Rangers brass allowed Hamilton to test the free agency market, his wife had this to say:
My take on it was we were with them for five years, and if you’re going to date somebody and they’re going to be your man or your woman, you make it official and make it known pretty quick or at some point that you want to be with them. They let us date other teams. Josh said he would give them the first chance, and they didn’t take him up on that. So, they let us go out and date people and give our hearts away.
To be fair, the Rangers did attempt to negotiate with the former MVP earlier in this season, however, those talks were soon derailed after Hamilton had a public relapse after which the Rangers showed a great deal of understanding and patience.
Talks began once again and picked up steam during the winter meetings, but the Rangers were reluctant to take on such a long, expensive contract for a player who will soon turn 32, which makes sense, fair or not, given Josh’s past.
Hurt that the Rangers didn’t show him enough love, Hamilton had this to say:
Looking at it now, I think it’s a blessing in disguise. I gave them everything I had for five years, so I’d be lying to you if I said it didn’t bother me a little bit, that they didn’t put the press on.
These comments by Hamilton are unfortunate and short-sighted, and I can understand why Texas fans are frustrated with their former hero. The Rangers organization, as well as the fans, were always patient and forgiving of Josh during his time in Texas. They stood by him when he was slumping on the field (though their frustration reached a fever pitch late this season) and they stood by him when things were going on off-the-field.
Any fan will tell you that he was the primary reason that the Rangers won back-to-back American League pennants. He came to Arlington and turned things around. He gave Rangers fans hope and inspiration. He was a hero both on and off the field. He was beloved and he was appreciated.
But now, all that sadly seems to be changing, and his legacy with the ball club appears to be in danger.
Though he threw in an obligatory “thank you” to the Rangers in their press conference, the Hamilton’s comments make them seem ungrateful for all that the franchise did for him while he was in Arlington, and instead of remembering Hamilton for all the good he did for the Texas Rangers, it appears now that he will be remembered for the shots he took at the club on the way out.