The Texas Rangers could look a bit different in the 2013 MLB season, having suffered a bit of a collapse to end the 2012 season. It culminated in the Rangers losing at home in the new wild card play-in game to the Baltimore Orioles. It may very well have been the final time we ever see Josh Hamilton wearing a Rangers uniform.
Hamilton put up some solid numbers once again in 2012, but it was his slumps over prolonged periods of time and his struggles late in the season that led many fans to boo him more often than not as the season progressed. Don’t think that Hamilton did not hear any of it either.
Going 0-for-4 in last night’s loss to the Orioles did not endear himself to the Texas faithful either.
“You hate to have it happen possibly the last game ever here, but at the same time, it’s one of those things,” Hamilton said. “I gave it my all every time I went out there. Hopefully, [fans] appreciated it more than they didn’t. I think they do. It’s one of those things, hey, we didn’t get a win, but you can’t win them all.”
Down the stretch, it didn’t seem as if the Rangers could win any of them. Not the last three against the Oakland Athletics that forced them to have to play last night, and certainly not to the Orioles at home. Texas is now going to miss going to the World Series for the first time since the 2009 MLB Playoffs.
“I always would love to stay here,” said Hamilton after the loss. “They understand that. They know that. When we talked earlier in the year, we didn’t get things worked out, so we said we’d wait until the year was over. They obviously get first shot. I told them they’d get first shot at the end of the year. We’ll see what happens.”
But while the Rangers may get the first shot, it far from guarantees that Hamilton will be sticking around in Texas going forward.
After each out by Hamilton, the boo birds sang louder and louder. After seeing just a total of eight pitches that produced a double play, a ground out and a pair of strikeouts, the sounds of the Texas crowd were far from lost on Hamilton.
“Personally, myself, it never would matter how high I was — if I went to a sporting event, I would never boo somebody or I would never yell obscenities at somebody,” said Hamilton. “That’s just me.
Hamilton later did say that he still has strong feelings toward Texas and the fans, making sure he thanked him as he could possibly be on his way out of town.
“To the fans, it’s been a good ride,” Hamilton said. “No matter if you send me off with boos or not, I still love you.”
It could be just me, but this sounds like a man who is ready to not only test the free agency waters, but also more than ready to swim to a new team beginning in 2013.
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