The Texas Rangers, or should I say, Jon Daniels are about to put on display this weekend everything that’s wrong with the game. You might ask, “what are they doing this weekend that could be so bad for the game?’ and that would be the correct question.
They are going to honor a three, four, five-time loser and put him in the Ranger’s Hall of F(Sh)ame. For some unknown reason, Jon Daniels thinks it’s a good idea to bring back the biggest waste of talent the majors have seen in a long, long time. Someone tell me why it’s a good idea; I’d really like to know. Is it because his life time BA is .290? Is it the 200 home runs he hit in thirteen years or maybe it’s the 701 lifetime rbi’s he racked-up over his illustrious career. If it’s the home runs, that calculates to a little over sixteen per year. If it’s the rbi’s that’s a little more impressive to compliment his respectable batting average-53 per year. Wait, it must be all the home runs he hit in the 2008 All star game-35. Or was it that he chose Clay Council, a friend who used to throw him batting practice so many years ago? Maybe, but unlikely.
When the Rangers signed Hamilton back in 2008, those of us who follow the game were aware of his reputed transgressions with alcohol and drugs. At the time, it seemed like a good gamble. If it didn’t work out, the Rangers payroll wouldn’t take a bath. If he did pan out and all of that raw talent could be tapped, they got a hell of a bargain. However, let us not overlook that the organization also hired one person to stay with Hamilton at all times off the field to make sure he didn’t get in trouble. That should have been a warning sign. Josh made the comment many times that he never carried any cash on him and his wife, of the time, handled all the money issues because he didn’t trust himself with money. Fair enough, I’m sure many of us can relate to a similar situation when we decide to visit an establishment where clothes are optional and we tell ourselves, “I’m only going to spend X tonight,” and then find ourselves standing in front of the ATM machine because she’s just so sweet and innocent. Buyer's remorse the next day reminds us of our stupidity.
But we aren’t talking about ourselves and the paltry $60-110K salary we have to live on. We’re talking about a man who would be making 25million a year with the Angels. That’s a little different if you ask me.
Let’s get back to his accomplishments. Is it plausible to imagine the Rangers getting to the World Series in 2010 and 11 without him? Not likely, but the same could be said for Felize, Hammel, Bourbon, Andres, Cruz, Kinsler, Wilson, Young, Holland and Guerrero. Was he an integral part in the line-up? Yes. Was his bat a feared weapon? Absolutely! I mean, how many batters get walked with the bases loaded to face the following batter. For those that don’t know, that was August 17th, 2008.
As an outfielder, he was excellent. A lifetime average of .980 is more than respectable, it’s damn good. So after reviewing all of his playing stats, why do I have a problem with his placement in the class of Ryan, Rodriguez, Hough, Bell, Jenkins, Sundberg, Young and Greer? Easy. They didn’t set a record for the most trips to rehab institutions or apologies for substance and alcohol abuse. And, if I was any of the aforementioned gentlemen of baseball, I would insist my name not be associated with Hamilton’s. It only degenerates the honor to gutter levels.
How many times did he come out and apologize again, and again, and again, and again for letting down the fans for his bad behavior? I lost count and after a while considered him nothing but a phony con artist.
Who still remembers his face being on the billboards for “I am Second?” Implying God was number one. I can and at the time, thought he was sincere. That fantasy, like many others rode off into the sunlight each time he deliberately stubbed his toe by getting drunk and high. And now he is going to be rewarded for his appalling actions! Someone tell me why this is happening again? I can't help but think a line from the movie, "A Bronx Tale." Wasted Talent. That line sums up Hamilton more than any words can.
What triggered this editorial was the rantings and ravings of three of my most obnoxious announcers to date: Dave Raymond, C.J. “Nitwit” Nitkowski and Emily Jones. I almost threw up listening to them fawn over this fraud. It was bad enough the Rangers were getting smacked back into the stone age during their 19-3 shellacking, but for those three to go on and on and on and on about what a great player he was, was ridiculous to say the least. Enough is enough but I’m sure they will figure out how to add more foolishness to tonight’s game.
That said and the facts laid out, two great seasons doesn’t make an honoree. The last thing I’m doing Saturday is going to the game this weekend to watch them give honors to a man who does not deserve them. In fact, it’s enough to not want to go to another game for a very long time.
Thank Jon Daniels for your astute asinine judgment call.