Skip to content

Josh Hamilton: expecting boos in his return to Texas, will certainly get them

Apr 5, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Josh Hamilton

UPDATE: Hamilton came up to boos, but nothing incredible. Then Hamilton struck out on four pitches and the crowd exploded with cheers, way louder than the boos.  I assume that this drama is over.  That is, unless Hamilton himself adds to it.  Which it seems like he’s doing. Here’s what he had to say after the game:

“I’m glad I could help create spirit and fire in this town. This was louder than any playoff game that I’ve ever been to.”

This is getting good.

12:30 PM: If there is anyone who doesn’t think that Josh Hamilton is going to be booed — and booed lustily — when he comes to bat in today’s Angles-Rangers game they’re crazy. It may be the most ferocious booing we’ve heard for a player since Barry Bonds retired. Or since J.D. Drew made his first trip to Philadelphia. What we have here is the perfect storm of booing: a fan base that hates the player and a player who doesn’t seem to care a lick about that.  It’s actually kinda glorious if you think about it. The closest baseball will ever come to professional wrestling.

For those unaware of the back story, Josh Hamilton spent five season playing for the Texas Rangers. In those five season he played in 647 games, hit 142 home runs, drove in 506 and posted a batting average of .305. He also collected an MVP award and was the best hitter on a Rangers team which made it to two straight World Series. Then, this offseason, he hit free agency and signed with the division rival Los Angeles Angels for five years and $125 million.

That was business, though. Lots of players have left the Rangers via free agency and have not drawn the ire of fans. Indeed, given his age, injury history, his history with substance and his reported contract demands, most folks didn’t think Hamilton would stay in Texas anyway. The front office certainly didn’t make a push to keep him.  Between that and all of the good times he brought to Rangers fans, you’d think there would be enough to sustain at least some affection between Hamilton and the fan base despite his now playing for a rival. But no, there’s none.

The love affair was clearly over before Hamilton left town, actually. Rangers fans began booing Hamilton late last year as he struggled mightily down the stretch. A stretch in which the Rangers blew a five game division lead with nine games left to play. In the final, division-losing game to the Athletics, Hamilton dropped a routine fly ball which contributed to the collapse. Including the Rangers’ wild card loss to the Orioles, Hamilton struck out 20 times in his last 46 at-bats. Four strikeouts came in the wild card game. Warranted or not, Rangers fans equated Hamilton’s poor play with a poor attitude and believe Hamilton quit on his team.

That alone would likely lead to boos upon his return today, but he really set everyone off back in February when he told a Dallas radio station that Dallas was not a baseball town:

“Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town. They’re supportive, but they also got a little spoiled at the same time, pretty quickly. You think about three to four years ago. It’s like, come on man, are you happier there again?”

Thing is, Hamilton is probably right about that. The Cowboys will always be king in Dallas and Rangers fans, like a lot of fans of teams who experience sustained success, probably have gotten a bit spoiled. But being technically right and saying the right thing are not the same thing, and the blowback Hamilton has received since making those statements has been pretty significant.  But Hamilton is not backing down either. Indeed, just this morning he said this to Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

“The truth is the truth. And that was the truth. I don’t regret anything I said … If they booed me when I played there why wouldn’t they boo me now?”

They will boo him now. With extreme gusto.  And, while it may be a bit uncomfortable for Hamilton, it’ll definitely add spice to an Angels-Rangers rivalry that is already a whole heck of a lot of fun.

Latest Posts
  1. Ian Kennedy to miss Monday’s start with an oblique injury

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    Ian Kennedy Ian Kennedy

    Ian Kennedy’s left oblique is bothering him, so he’ll miss tomorrow’s start against the Braves.

  2. Padres expected to activate Jedd Gyorko, DL Carlos Quentin on Monday

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:35 PM EDT

    Jedd Gyorko Jedd Gyorko

    The Padres are expected to get Jedd Gyorko back from the DL, but lose Carlos Quentin on Monday.

  3. Josh Harrison escaped yet another run-down

    Jul 27, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    Josh Harrison Josh Harrison

    Josh Harrison kept the PIrates in the mix in Sunday’s game against the Rockies by using his legs.

  4. Carlos Santana is unfathomably hot right now

    Jul 27, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Carlos Santana Carlos Santana

    Pitchers do not want to be facing Carlos Santana right now.

  5. Baseball’s controversial plate-blocking rule strikes again

    Jul 27, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies

    Baseball’s implementation of home plate collision rules, meant to protect catchers, hasn’t gone as smoothly as expected this season. There was yet another example on Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

  6. Chris Archer is unhappy David Ortiz admired his three-run home run

    Jul 27, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Chris Archer Chris Archer

    The Rays and Red Sox have been nipping at each other throughout the season, so it was no surprise that Chris Archer took exception when David Ortiz gawked at his three-run home run.

  7. Report: Red Sox contemplating trading for Matt Kemp

    Jul 27, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Matt Kemp Matt Kemp

    According to an ESPN report, the Red Sox are considering a trade that could bring Matt Kemp to Boston.

  8. Video: Frank Thomas gives emotional Hall of Fame speech

    Jul 27, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT

    frank thomas hall of fame

    Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas gave a tremendous speech — reflecting on his parents and upbringing in Georgia — Sunday at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, New York …

  9. The six new Hall of Fame plaques …

    Jul 27, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT

    maddux plaque

    Via the National Baseball Hall of Fame Musuem’s official Twitter feed, here are the six new plaques that will be added to the walls in Cooperstown after Sunday’s induction ceremony …

  10. Derek Holland set to begin rehab assignment this week

    Jul 27, 2014, 3:41 PM EDT

    derek holland getty Getty Images

    Rangers left-hander Derek Holland is scheduled to throw a full-effort bullpen session on Monday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. If it goes well Holland will be cleared to embark on a 30-day minor league rehab assignment later in the week.

  11. Throwback: Ted Williams’ Hall of Fame speech

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    ted williams hall of fame ap AP

    On this Hall of Fame induction Sunday — Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox, and Joe Torre are going in — we give you Ted Williams’ speech from 1966 …

  12. Mariners’ interest in Matt Kemp is “very real”

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

    matt kemp getty Getty Images

    The Mariners acquired Kendrys Morales from the Twins on Thursday for right-handed reliever Stephen Pryor, and they’re not done trying to beef up their offense.

  13. Astros players upset over Mark Appel’s promotion to Double-A, bullpen session in Houston

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:25 PM EDT

    mark appel getty Getty Images

    Mark Appel was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi on Saturday despite posting a 9.74 ERA and 1.92 WHIP in 44 1/3 innings at High-A Lancaster. And he was invited to Minute Maid Park in Houston on Sunday morning to throw a bullpen session in front of Astros coaches and executives. This stuff is not sitting well with some of the players on the Astros’ current major league roster.

  14. Yankees said to be eyeing Twins outfielder Josh Willingham

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT

    josh willingham getty Getty Images

    Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Yankees are eyeing Twins outfielder Josh Willingham, who would require less of a committment in years and money than Alex Rios and Marlon Byrd.

  15. Four theories about the Hall of Fame voting changes

    Jul 27, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

    hall of fame logo large

    So I have three – no, wait, just thought of another one, so four – theories about the Baseball Hall of Fame’s decision to reduce the time a player can spend on the ballot from 15 years to 10. I am not opposed to this rule, by the way. I have long thought 15 years was too long for a player to be on the ballot. And I am absolutely for some changes in the Hall of Fame process …

  16. Jack Hannahan finally ready to join the Reds

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:34 AM EDT

    jack hannahan getty Getty Images

    Jack Hannahan is finally ready to rejoin the Reds’ active roster after missing April, May, June, and most of July following offseason shoulder surgery.

  17. Check out MLB Network’s video open for Sunday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony …

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT

    baseball hall of fame logo

    Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox make up the star-studded six-man class of players and managers that will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon in Cooperstown, New York. Here’s a sneak peek at the intro video that will be seen before the ceremony on MLB Network …

  18. Video: Huge brawl breaks out at Triple-A Reno

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:12 AM EDT

    albuquerque brawl

    The Dodgers and Diamondbacks got into a few scuffles last season, and now their Triple-A affiliates are taking the feistiness to another level. Check out this brawl from Saturday evening …

  19. Troy Tulowitzki is visiting a sports hernia surgeon

    Jul 27, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    troy tulowitzki getty Getty Images

    This doesn’t sound like a promising development. According to Nick Groke of the Denver Post, star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki flew to Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon to visit Dr. William Meyers about his lingering left hip injury. Meyers performed a sports hernia surgery on Tulowitzki in 2012

  20. Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

    Jul 27, 2014, 8:56 AM EDT

    clayton kershaw getty Getty Images

    The Dodgers are back on top in the NL West. Clayton Kershaw allowed only two hits and a walk over nine shutout innings and Adrian Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with two doubles as Los Angeles dominated the host Giants on Saturday night in San Francisco.

Featured video

Three legends off to Cooperstown
Top 10 MLB Player Searches