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Josh Hamilton won’t participate in this year’s Home Run Derby, which pleases Ron Washington greatly

Jun 6, 2012, 10:29 PM EDT

josh hamilton getty Getty Images

Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton paces all major leaguers in home runs and even slugged four in one game earlier this season. But he wants merely to be an observer July 9 in Kansas City, when American League captain Robinson Cano leads a group of three mashers against National League captain Matt Kemp and his own team of distance swingers.

Which, for obvious reasons, is something that Rangers manager Ron Washington fully supports.

“I didn’t help him with the decision,” Washington told columnist Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday evening. “But when he told me I was very, very happy he’s not doing it. He has so much torque in his swing. If he swings and misses, he could get hurt. And if he’s hurt, we’re hurt.”

Hamilton had to be given IV fluids and oxygen after a game in late May because of dehydration brought on by a combination of high-90s temperatures in Arlington, Texas and a respiratory infection. He also had back problems earlier this year, and appeared in only 121 games in 2011. The Home Run Derby is an awfully taxing event. And there’s even a belief that it can have a negative effect on a hitter’s swing.

Hamilton tallied 32 home runs during the 2008 regular season, but just 11 of those came after he put on a show in the final Derby at the old Yankee Stadium. The 31-year-old impending free agent hasn’t participated in an exhibition hitting competition since that memorable night.

  1. biasedhomer - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Obviously he doesn’t want to repeat what had happened in 2008, especially considering the contract that will set him, his children, and grand children for life, is right around the corner.

    • Old Gator - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      Look, I don’t disagree that he’s about to send a bunch of leprechauns into retirement, but man, if he hasn’t been able to set his family up for life on the money he’s already made, he desperately needs a financial adviser as well as a big brother chaperon.

      • derklempner - Jun 7, 2012 at 12:33 AM

        You forget we’re discussing Josh Hamilton here, Gator. He’s only a “wrong turn” into a bar from throwing away all his money and fame on drugs and alcohol again.

      • Old Gator - Jun 7, 2012 at 6:15 AM

        Clearly, he has allowed those leprechauns to be too much of an influence on his life. Mother Theresa could have gone into a bar with a bunch of those little troublemakers and been hauled out of the gutter later on the same night.

      • skeleteeth - Jun 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM

        @derklempner

        Aren’t we all really but with less attention and means, for most of us anyway? I’m starting to feel indifferent about all this “respect” this guy gets for not messing up most of the time.

  2. stex52 - Jun 7, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Home Run Derby is one of the silliest events in all of baseball, anyway. Can’t say I’e watched one since I was 8. And that was a long time ago.

    • hoopmatch - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      I’d rather see a roller derby or a Kentucky derby.

      • hoopmatch - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:07 PM

        Or maybe a race with ten white Volkswagen beetles with the Number 53. That would be a Herby Derby.

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