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Josh Hamilton says he’s “never, ever” struggled this long

Jun 3, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

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Josh Hamilton went 0-for-4 yesterday and is now hitting .216 with a .657 OPS and 61 strikeouts through 56 games for the Angels.

Asked after his latest 0-for whether he’s gotten off to a slow start like this before Hamilton replied: “Never, ever–from the first time I picked up a ball to now, no.”

Hamilton also expressed confidence that he’ll get things turned around, telling Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:

Take a poll of every player in this clubhouse and see if I’m going to come out of it or not. The proof is in what’s gone on in the past. I’ve struggled at times and always come out of it.

I’d actually be sort of fascinated to see the result of such a poll, if it were somehow possible to conduct it while getting truthful answers of course. Seems like a pretty good bet that at least a few of Hamilton’s new teammates are skeptical about him returning to the level that got him a five-year, $125 million contract from the Angels.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Jun 3, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    At least he will only be shamed for 5 years instead of 10! Silver linings abound.

  2. historiophiliac - Jun 3, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Is the poll anonymous or no?

  3. pauleee - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    I’m resigned to the fact that nobody ever hits FOR us like they did AGAINST us. Josh is just the latest example.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      I’m sure the Yankees would trade ARod your way if you want to test that out. He has, after all, torched the Angels, historically speaking. Trade him to you for that Fish kid in your outfield, or whatever his name is.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        He has, after all, torched the Angels, historically speaking.

        Holy crap he has. If you took his career and averaged it out to 162 games, here’s what he’d put up:

        .320/.396/.661 – 203 H, 34 2b, 59 HR, 143 R, 136 RBI

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        Show those numbers to Arte Moreno and let’s make a deal!

  4. beefytrout - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Hard to judge this year’s struggles with those in the past, if he’s never experienced struggles like this before.

    • badintent - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:13 AM

      He did complain about all the booing when he returned to Texas. Those boos hurt him physically, mentally and made him start doing hot yoga which cause the remain few brain cells to melt and left him unable to comprehend he was suppose to hit the pitched ball.There, problem solved.

  5. neoshweaty - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    He’s also on the wrong side of 30. I think he’s probably a whole lot better than what he’s showing now but it may be that he is more of a limited player going forward. I hope he bounces back but between him and Pujols, it seems like the Angels are paying a ton to guys not likely to get anywhere near the production that made them worth their huge contracts to begin with.

    • wretchu - Jun 4, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      I’m a Cardinals fan, and I could’ve told you that Albert’s contract was a horrible one when he signed it. I won’t lie, I was definitely hurt when he left because I thought he very well would be this generation’s Stan Musial between his performance on the field and his charity work off it, but even at the time he hit free agency, his numbers had been on the decline for the previous three years. It was no surprise that he wouldn’t live up to the deal, though it was surprising how quickly it happened.

      The Cardinals were willing to make him the offer they did not because he was going to continue to be one of the best players in the game, but because of what he’d done in the previous 10 years and what he’d mean emotionally going forward to St. Louis. Even at the time, while I definitely wanted Albert to sigh, I would be lying if I said I didn’t breathe a sigh of relief because I knew that kind of contract would hamstring the team for a long time. But without Albert, that made the team (in the long run) so much better. Without Albert, Craig was moved to first where he’d be less likely to hurt himself running into walls. Without Albert, we could sign a player like Beltran to a deal while still roughly replacing his production but not getting bogged down with a long-term signing (to make way for a player like Taveras in a couple years). Without Albert, we had the funds to keep key players like Wainwright, Molina and even Craig.

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    This team isn’t full of guys you’ve played with for several years. I would bet plenty of them wouldn’t be so sure you’ll turn it around if they were being honest.

  7. mmason0071 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Considering Hamilton’s non-baseball struggles throughout his life, he was highly likely to fold under the pressure of a huge contract. It has happened to much more stable guys than him. Glad my Mariner’s didn’t get him – at least we are terrible for cheap.

    • clemente2 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      This is his second large contract. He played before for the Rangers in the midst of a string of WS hopeful teams. There is no reason to say he has folded (which really should take a season or two to decide), nor that he has done so because of the contract.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I have not seen too many of his ABs this season, but I’m guessing that he still needs to learn to either hit or lay off breaking balls on the outside. If he can’t, he will keep seeing them and making outs.

    • APBA Guy - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      You’re correct. What we’re seeing this year is a continuation of what started about this time last year: lots of junk-particularly change-ups-with downward movement low and away. Oddly, it’s so in his head at this point that he’s not catching up to hittable pitches early in the count, even though it’s apparent his bat speed is still there.

  9. turdfurgerson68 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM

  10. mybrunoblog - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    It’s like Josh Hamilton, Ike Davis and BJ Upton are forming some sort of unholy alliance of under performing players. They are like Spock with the beard in that great Star Trek episode.

  11. fearthehoody - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I beg to differ

    – Cocaine

  12. sportsfan18 - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I’m neither an Angels fan nor am I a Josh Hamilton fan. I thought $125 for 5 yrs was too much. I didn’t expect him to hit .320 with 38 home runs 114 rbi’s, but I didn’t expect this at all… I thought he might be around .285 or so this yr, close to 30 homers and around 95 rbi’s…

    I figured he’d have one good season (OK a partial season as he doesn’t play full seasons) during the first 3 yrs of this 5 yr deal with the other two being decent and then he’d fall off the cliff.

    Falling off the cliff in yr one wasn’t something I expected. He’ll play better next yr but I think he might not have that one good partial season for them anymore…

  13. mashoaf - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Good thing the Mariners did not sign him

  14. onbucky96 - Jun 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    So…God was wrong telling Josh and his wife to go to Hell A?

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