Josh Hamilton had one of the greatest starts to a season in the history of baseball. His numbers were bound to tail off at some point.
Unfortunately, they've fallen off a cliff. When he hit four home runs in a win over the Orioles on May 8, he seemed well on his way to another MVP season. That remarkable stretch ignited talks of how the Texas Rangers desperately needed to sign their center fielder to a long-term contract. At that point, his latest relapse with alcohol and all the baggage that comes along with him felt like minor distractions.
But only two months removed from that stretch that saw his average at .400 on May 17, Hamilton briefly dipped below .300 during Tuesday's 6-1 win over the Oakland A's. He struck out three times in the game before hitting a towering homer the opposite way and later driving in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Those were positive signs, but it's not enough to suggest Hamilton's ready to pull out of this prolonged slump. You knew his average would ...