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Josh Hamilton suffered thumb injury on head-first dive into first (GIF)

Josh Hamilton will likely be out 6-8 weeks after suffering a thumb injury that could require surgery, the team said on Wednesday.

Hamilton was trying to beat out a ground ball to short in the 7th inning of the Angels’ loss to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday and went into first with a head-first dive. Hamilton’s left hand went into the base, and he ended up tearing a ligament and capsule in his hand.

Commentator Mark Gubicza nailed it immediately, saying that he was concerned about Hamilton diving into the base because the outfielder could hurt his thumb that way just like Yasiel Puig did. That’s exactly what happened, but, unfortunately for the Angels, Hamilton’s injury was much more serious than Puig’s.

Though you think the injury would teach Hamilton not to dive head-first into first again, he says it’s an instinctual move and that he can’t guarantee he won’t do it again.

“Sometimes your instincts more than anything take over; the fun of the game,” Hamilton said via MLB.com. “I thought maybe when he was fielding the ball he had to go a little farther than he did, but he didn’t. I shouldn’t have done it, probably, but I’m not going to say I’m not going to do it again because I’d be lying.”

Josh Hamilton dive

This is really a bummer because Hamilton was having such a great start to the season. Hamilton was 12-27 (.444) with two doubles, two home runs and six walks and was on his way to turning around a disappointing start to his Angels career.

GIF via @nick_pants

Josh Hamilton welcomes Ian Kinsler to Rangers doghouse

Josh-Hamilton-Ian-Kinsler

Prior to Tuesday, there was probably no active player in Major League Baseball that Texas Rangers fans hated more than Josh Hamilton. Ian Kinsler may have changed that when he ripped his former team in a recent interview and said he hopes they go 0-162 this upcoming season.

Shortly after Kinsler’s comments went viral, Hamilton sent the following tweet:

Seems like he’s enjoying the company, no? Hamilton erased any positive feelings Rangers fans had toward him when he called them “spoiled” and said Dallas is not a baseball town. He was later booed mercilessly when he came to town with the Los Angeles Angels and even needed to request extra security for his family.

Kinsler should expect the same reaction from Rangers fans when he visits with the Detroit Tigers.

Josh Hamilton has put on 28 pounds

Josh HamiltonThe Los Angeles Angels must already be nervous about the five-year, $125 million contract they signed Josh Hamilton to last season. The 32-year-old outfielder had his worst statistical season in years, hitting a career-low .250. He belted 21 homers and drove in just 79 runs.

Hamilton is hoping to restore his swing in 2014 and get back to being the player he was for five seasons with the Texas Rangers. His first order of business has been gaining weight. During a guest appearance with the Louisville baseball team last week, Hamilton said he has gained 28 pounds during the offseason.

Prior to 2013, Hamilton committed to not eating processed foods or gluten. His power numbers dipped.

“I didn’t feel like my power was where it needed to be,” Hamilton said, per The Courier-Journal. “But overall I still feel good about eating healthy and lifting heavier weights this offseason.”

The Courier-Journal also posted a video of Hamilton speaking to reporters, and he didn’t appear fat by any means. Athletes often try to slim down as they get older, but maybe adding some muscle would be beneficial for Hamilton. If he lost a bunch of weight and his numbers dipped all around, that would be one logical solution.

Josh Hamilton: ‘It sucks’ being so far out of first place

Josh HamiltonThe Los Angeles Angels are running out of time to climb out of the hole they have dug themselves into in the AL West, and Josh Hamilton knows it. The Angels fell to 12 games out of first place with a loss to the division-leading Oakland A’s on Saturday.

“It sucks. I mean, there’s not much I can tell you,” Hamilton said after the 3-1 loss, via MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. “It’s one of those things where we’re going out, competing, doing what we can. … We’re playing how we want to play, and it’s hard. You have to do all the things – pitching, hitting, playing defense. We’ve done that in spurts, but really haven’t been consistent with it on a day-in, day-out bases. And that’s what it’s going to take – we have to do it day in and day out, get some momentum and rattle a few off.”

If Hamilton had been living up to his $125 million contract, the Angels would probably be in a better position to contend. While he has 15 homers and has started to hit with more pop as of late, Hamilton is still hitting a measly .223 with an on-base percentage of only .277. He acknowledged that he has been part of the problem.

“Obviously it would help if I could pick it up, but overall, it’s not like we’re going out there laying down,” Hamilton said.

To make matters worse, Albert Pujols is likely headed to the disabled list after re-injuring his foot, which he previously stated may need surgery in the offseason. With only 60 games remaining, it may already be too late for LA to make a playoff run. Given the hype that surrounded the team heading into the season, anything less than a wild card berth would be a major disappointment.

Josh Hamilton chewing tobacco again, has gone on hitting streak

Josh Hamilton has finally shown signs of breaking out of a season-long slump for the Los Angeles Angels, and the chatter around Angel Stadium is that his hot streak coincides with his decision to resume his habit of chewing tobacco.

Hamilton is batting .223 on the season with 82 strikeouts in 79 games. His OPS, which is currently .672, has never been higher than .743 at any point in the season. He has been moved down in the lineup and given off days, but nothing helped.

Presently, Hamilton is on a 7-game hitting streak, which is his longest of the season and also coincides with the Angels’ 7-game winning streak. Hamilton is 10 for his last 25 (.400) with four doubles, four RBIs, and four walks. The image below shows him packing a huge wad of tobacco in his cheek during Sunday’s game, in which he went 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI double:

Josh Hamilton tobacco

Could Hamilton’s hitting streak have to do with him resuming his tobacco habit?

The Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna says Hamilton began chewing tobacco again at the beginning of the team’s last road trip, which is when both streaks began. Hamilton skirted the issue when DiGiovanna asked him about a possible correlation.

[Read more...]

Josh Hamilton may have saved four runs with two awesome catches (Video)

Josh-Hamilton-catchJosh Hamilton has done a poor job of helping the Los Angels Angels score runs this season, but he did a tremendous job of preventing them on Saturday night. The right-fielder made two phenomenal catches during a 7-2 win over the Houston Astros.

In the fourth inning, Hamilton made a great catch at the wall with runners on first and third and two out. The ball had a chance to leave the park and was at least going to hit the wall, so Hamilton either robbed a home run to save three runs or took a double away to save two.

Then, with the Angels protecting a 5-2 lead in the fifth, Hamilton reached over the wall and took a solo homer away from Matt Dominguez.

Hamilton is hitting .221 and has only 10 homers and 28 RBI, so the Angels need him to find other ways to help the club at the moment. Considering he recently had a historically horrible night at the plate, two spectacular catches may be just what the doctor ordered.

Josh Hamilton reaches low point with terrible night at the plate for Angels

Josh HamiltonIf Los Angeles Angels fans were waiting for Josh Hamilton to hit rock bottom so he could start turning his season around, he may have done so on Tuesday night. At least, the team is hoping that turns out to be the case.

Hamilton, who signed a five-year, $125 million contract with LA this past offseason, has been horrendous in his first season with his new team. He is batting just .213 with 10 homers and only 24 RBI. It got worse on Tuesday.

Hamilton went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in a 3-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners, but he accounted for many more outs than just his own. He also left seven runners on base and tied the Angels’ franchise record by grounding into three double plays in a single game. As Eye on Baseball pointed out, Hamilton became only the second player since 1916 to go hitless, strike out twice, and ground into three double plays in a game.

Those aren’t exactly the types of records the Angels were hoping their new slugger would set. Leaving seven runners on base and grounding into three double plays is obviously abysmal, but it stings even more on a night where LA lost by only a run. The Angels are 31-40 and 11 games out of first in the AL West, and Hamilton’s inability to get anything going is a major reason why.

We don’t want to overreact, but if the 32-year-old can’t turn things around at some point in the near future his contract will become an absolute nightmare for the Angels.