Josh Hamilton’s first series at the Ballpark in Arlington as a member of the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend went pretty much as scheduled. Texas Rangers fans booed him mercilessly and pretended to be reading newspapers while he was introduced. Then, there was reportedly an incident where Hamilton’s wife and children needed to request additional security because some Rangers fans were being particularly nasty.
Overall, it was nothing anyone with a little common sense would not have seen coming. However, it is interesting to note that Texas closer Joe Nathan felt that Hamilton antagonized the fans a bit.
“I think him being more vocal than he should have been may have created more hype and more hostility,” Nathan told Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on MLB Radio Network Monday, via The Dallas Morning News. “If he had been quieter, I think this weekend might not have been hyped as much. He egged them on a little, playing with them. … It’s a shame. I hope it’s not like this every time he comes into town.”
Over the winter, Hamilton said that Dallas was not a true baseball town and that he thought the fans had become a little “spoiled” during his time with the Rangers. That certainly didn’t help matters. Hamilton was going to be booed loudly no matter what he said leading up to his first visit in Texas, but engaging the fans is never a good idea. If Hamilton was interacting with fans who were giving him a hard time as Nathan seemed to imply that he was, he certainly deserves some of the blame for the hostility he was shown.