The Los Angeles Angels‘ season was over long before lost their final game of 2013 to the Texas Rangers on Sunday. Not even Mike Trout‘s heroic efforts could pull the Halos to .500, a small accomplishment that still would have been a big disappointment for a team considered by many to be World Series favorites on Opening Day.
But Josh Hamilton may have hit a personal nadir when those in attendance at Arlington rained down a stream of boos on the former Rangers star, indicating that for at least those fans, Hamilton’s lifetime .227 postseason batting average while playing for Texas will earn him an acrimonious greeting every time he sets foot in the ballpark.
Hamilton’s reaction, however, made the situation even more pathetic — he tipped his cap, thereby causing a fresh wave of delighted booing as Rangers fans reveled in the fact that Hamilton was slumping for a different team while theirs was headed for the playoffs.
It would be one thing if Hamilton were Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter or another iconic franchise player, even if he had switched teams after a long, illustrious career in Texas. But he didn’t — he had a few very good seasons for the Rangers and was consistently terrible in the playoffs.
Adding insult to injury, his substance abuse issues delayed his Texas debut by several years, and the Rangers showed a great deal of faith by sticking with him through thick and thin.
It’s great that Hamilton seems to be lighthearted in the face of his struggles, but this is taking it to a whole new level. In the offseason, he should focus less on tipping his cap and more on hitting the batting cage so he might get his average above .250 next year. Just a thought.