Now, before you turn to another blog, let me state that I have nothing but the greatest respect for the man. Josh Hamilton had overcome a large number of obstacles and battles demons every day to live out the dream of every ten year old boy. True, he has had a couple of falls off of the wagon. And sadly, Josh is one of the most publicly scrutinized addicts in America at this point in time. But, seriously, aside from being a poster boy for morality, can the Rangers truly live without Josh?
In his first season with the Rangers (2008), Hamilton batted .304 and hit 32 home runs and drove in 130 runs. In the following three years, he only had a similar year of production in 2010. (.359/32 HR/100 RBIs). The other two years, he had a tendency to throw his body against walls to catch balls and ended up being injured and missed long periods of time. Did the Rangers suffer without him? Hardly. They made it to the World Series in 2010 and 2011. During that period of time, Hamilton missed twenty percent of the games played and the Rangers did fine. Did they win the World Series with him in the line up? Sadly, no they haven’t. Should the Rangers spent the money to sign Prince Fielder and let North Texas enjoy one guaranteed World Series? Well, I think ya’ll know my answer on that by now. Add to that the fact that Hamilton said he will not take a “hometown discount” (less money to stay with the Rangers), and I really am expecting him to tell North Texas come the winter that “It’s not you. It’s me. I’ve had to move on and I think that you should too.” Of course, he later back pedaled and said that he still has a loyalty to the Rangers. That sounds like to me more damage control than anything else. But, enough talk about our soon to be ex-outfielder.
But, the Rangers have Yu Darvish, the Japanese miracle who can throw seven different types of pitches from the mound. Neftali Feliz “Navidad” moves his flame ball from the closing position to the starter role. All of the rest of the usual cast of players has returned. True, Albert Puljos is now playing for the Angels. But the Rangers pitching staff kept him pretty much in check throughout most of the series. So, the Rangers will go on to their third World Series this year, with the additions made. However, I think that we may be looking at one more year of “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” I hope that I’m wrong, but only time will tell.