Josh Hamilton missed Angels’ celebration because he had chiropractic work done

Josh HamiltonJosh Hamilton did not take part in the Angels’ celebration on Wednesday night after the team clinched the AL West for the first time since 2009.

We said that Hamilton was not around because he wanted to stay away from the alcohol scene. But it turns out Hamilton may have left the clubhouse well before the Angels even clinched a playoff spot.

MLB.com reporter Alden Gonzalez said Thursday that Hamilton left the stadium around game time to have chiropractic work done.

Even though Hamilton has avoided participating in celebrations involving alcohol and said he would do the same this year, his absence on Wednesday night was not specifically due to the alcohol-related celebration.

As for the chiropractic work, Hamilton has been dealing with a shoulder problem that led him to get some cortisone injections.

Josh Hamilton was not around for Angels’ alcohol celebration

Josh HamiltonThe Angels on Wednesday clinched the AL West for the first time since 2009, and one of their key players was not around to enjoy most of the celebration.

Josh Hamilton, who has had well-known struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, excused himself before the alcohol started flowing during the team’s celebration.

OC Register Angels reporter Jeff Fletcher sent the following tweet regarding Hamilton:

Hamilton is batting .263/.331/.414 for the Angels this season. He did not play in Wednesday’s 5-0 win over the Mariners because lefty James Paxton was pitching for Seattle, or possibly because his shoulder was bothering him again. The Angels clinched thanks to a combination of their win and the Rangers’ victory over the A’s.

This is nothing new for Hamilton. In 2010, he skipped the Texas Rangers’ celebration upon clinching the AL West. But after the team won their ALDS, they decided to celebrate using ginger ale so Ham could participate.

The Angels used tons of champagne in their celebration on Wednesday. Maybe they’ll make their next celebration Hamilton-friendly. And if you’re questioning why Hamilton can’t be around it, don’t forget that he had a publicized relapse in 2012.

UPDATE: Angels reporter Alden Gonzalez says Hamilton was not around for the celebration because he left around gametime to have some chiropractic work done.

Mike Scioscia: Josh Hamilton not the same player he was with Rangers

Josh HamiltonMike Scioscia isn’t exactly thrilled with the type of production — or lack thereof — he’s received from Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton is only hitting .216 with a .630 OPS since the All-Star break and went 1-for-5 with 4 strikeouts Friday against the Rangers. That prompted Scioscia to say Saturday that Hamilton isn’t the player he was with Texas when he was a 5-time All-Star, won the 2009 AL MVP and commanded a 5-year, $125 million contract from the Angels.

“Josh is not the same that we saw when we were looking at the other dugout,” Scioscia said via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s not in the batter’s box with the confidence we know he has. He’s not attacking the ball like he can. He’s working hard to try to find it …but we need him to do what he’s capable of doing, or close to that.”

Despite being exasperated with Hamilton, Scioscia says he is not moving the outfielder from the cleanup spot in the lineup.

Though Hamilton has struggled lately, his regular season numbers could be worse. He’s batting .266/.339/.414 this season and was really scorching before going down with a thumb injury. Sometimes that’s all it takes to take a player out of his rhythm.

If Scioscia maintains confidence in Hamilton, I’m sure the outfielder will come around. He’s always been a streak hitter and will likely get hot again before too long. Maybe Scioscia is trying to motivate Hamilton by talking him down.

Coco Crisp robs Josh Hamilton of home run; fireworks accidentally go off (Video)

Coco-Crisp-robs-homerJosh Hamilton has not hit many home runs this season. Much of that has to do with the fact that he has been injured, but Coco Crisp is also partially responsible. Hamilton made a bid for his fourth homer of the year on Wednesday when the Oakland A’s center fielder robbed him.

The best part? Whoever was in charge of setting the fireworks off for the Los Angeles Angels cost the team a little money. He or she was too quick with the trigger, and the fireworks that are typically reserved for home runs were set off after Crisp made the fantastic catch. Coco even gave a finger wag as the ballpark filled with smoke.

Better make sure the ball actually lands over the wall next time.

H/T Big League Stew

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


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.