Sports Blog: Josh Hamilton returns to Texas
Josh Hamilton returns to Arlington on Friday night, and expects to get the coldest reception of his life.
As we all know by now, Josh Hamilton turned down the Rangers' offer to take his talents to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County.
So not only did Hamilton not sign with the Rangers, he ended up signing with the Rangers' biggest rival and teaming up with the other hated ex-Ranger, CJ Wilson.
And if that wasn’t enough, Hamilton decided to take a jab at the Rangers fan base, saying they weren’t “real baseball fans”.
Hamilton was clearly hurt with the boos he got last season, as he took the last two months of the season off.
Ranger fans will never forget the lackluster end to his 2012 season, with the dropped routine fly ball in Oakland that ended up costing the Rangers the AL West, or the horrible at-bats in the Wild Card game against Baltimore.
Josh Hamilton always said he owed no loyalties to the Rangers or to Texas, but his lack of loyalty and commitment last season and off-season shows he had a real distain for the area and team that gave him a chance to get his life and career back on track.
Even during his relapses, Texas supported him. When the Rangers won the AL pennant, both times the Rangers celebrated without the traditional champagne out of respect for Josh.
So if the Rangers and the fans feel a little betrayed -- and a lot of hatred -- they have a right.
No, Hamilton didn’t owe the Rangers or Texas anything. After all, Josh did lead them to back to back World Series appearances.
On the flip side, the Rangers fan base didn’t deserve the jab Hamilton took as he cashed his new check in Anaheim.
Many national media outlets will judge the Texas fan base, saying Josh doesn’t deserve the boos.
But Texas knows, the more you coddle Josh, the more he needs it.
So think of the boos as tough love, and a reminder that no matter how much you preach of loyalty, it’s your actions and not your words as to how you are judged.
John Dyer is a sports blogger for KSAT.com. He also owns a sports website, Texas Sports Junkie.
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