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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.

Josh Hamilton getting booed at home

Josh HamiltonJosh Hamilton already dealt with being booed on the road to start the season, and now he’s hearing the boos at home, too.

Hamilton was booed on Friday night during the Angels’ 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Hamilton DHd and batted fifth, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Multiple people noted that he was getting booed during the night, and OC Register sports intern Sam Strong says the boos got worse each time he came up hitless.

Hamilton has struggled to start the season and Angels fans are growing impatient with his and the team’s struggles. Since homering in back-to-back games against Houston on April 13 and 14 for his only dingers of the season, Hamilton has not had an extra-base hit. He’s also struck out 22 times and only walked twice since the 14th.

Hamilton was not in the lineup on Saturday and likely given the day off to collect himself. He took extra batting practice before the game and worked on his timing.

One of Hamilton’s biggest issues is how poor his approach has been. The guy regularly gets fooled by offspeed stuff and seriously looks sometimes like he has never seen a breaking ball before in his life. When he was struggling with the Texas Rangers last year, Nolan Ryan said he was chasing pitches and giving away at-bats. That’s pretty much been the story this year.

Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron wrote an article about Hamilton on Tuesday and said the slugger was “swinging himself into oblivion.” The article noted that Hamilton is chasing pitches outside the strike zone nearly 45 percent of the time. That statistical data certainly corresponds with the visual evidence. In order to turn around his season, Hamilton needs to curb his hack-happy approach.

Josh Hamilton makes mental mistake on bases for last out of game

Josh HamiltonJosh Hamilton committed a mental blunder to end the Angels’ 5-0 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night that just shows where the team’s disappointing season is right now.

Hamilton was on first with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Mark Trumbo at the plate. Trumbo popped up a ball between home and third in foul territory. Hamilton started trotting toward second and casually making his way toward third thinking that the pop out would end the game. Instead, Astros catcher Jason Castro made the catch in foul ground and threw to first to get Hamilton on the double play to end the game.

“That’s a mental mistake,” manager Mike Scioscia said, via the LA Daily News. “As perfect as players try to play, as hard as they try to play, unfortunately mental mistakes are going to creep into the scenario. We’ve seen it, guys on other teams. And Josh is accountable. He knows he messed up.”

The Angels aren’t pitching well, they’re not hitting well, and they’re losing. If there is one thing you would hope they could do properly it’s not make simple mistakes on the bases, but this is just kind of where they are.

The Angels are now 2-8, which is the worst record in the American League. Jered Weaver got hurt, Erick Aybar is hurt, and the team’s ERA is over five. And they can’t even keep track of the outs. What the heck is going on in Anaheim? This is ridiculous.

Joe Nathan says Josh Hamilton egged Rangers fans on in Texas

Josh-Hamilton-RangersJosh 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.

Josh Hamilton says wife needed extra security due to Rangers fans being ‘ugly’

It is no secret that Josh Hamilton has fallen from the good graces of Texas Rangers fans. He was booed as his career with the team came to a close and again this week when he visited the Ballpark in Arlington for the first time as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. All of that was to be expected, but one would hope the fans would leave Hamilton’s family out of it.

According to the Angels slugger, they did not. Hamilton said his wife Katie had to seek out security when fans were verbally harassing her and the couple’s daughters.

“She ended up calling security just because people are being ugly,” Hamilton told reporters on Friday, via the Dallas Morning News. “Not necessarily the booing and stuff, but inappropriate with kids around – and that was before the game even started. But overall, it’s not like they left and went anywhere. They stayed right there. Good lesson for the kids about people and general and not putting your faith in man, but in the man upstairs.”

Rangers officials said they provided the Hamilton family with extra security after the complaint but that no fans were ejected. They were not able to sit in a suite on Friday because there was no availability, but they were apparently given one for Saturday and Sunday. Hamilton also said his children took it well.

“They weren’t upset when they got home,” he said. “They kissed me and hugged me and said good game. They went on playing with the friends they had over. It was like coming home from any other game. … It’s cool to get ragged on about normal things. But when you get a little swearing and jawing back at Katie and saying inappropriate things, it’s a little different story.”

As the wife of this Philadelphia Eagles linebacker could tell you, fans harassing a player’s family is nothing new. However, it does cross the line — especially when young children are involved. Booing is inevitable, but there’s no need for swearing at someone’s wife and children.

Texas Rangers fans boo Josh Hamilton, pretend to read newspaper

Texas Rangers fans gave it to Josh Hamilton in his return to the Ballpark in Arlington. Not only did Rangers fans boo the slugger in introductions and when he came to the plate Friday, but they also pretended to read the newspaper during his at-bat:

Texas Rangers fans newspaper Josh Hamilton

Hamilton went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts lowering his season average to .063 through four games. They cheered when strikes were called on him, and they gave a standing ovation when he punched out. The Rangers also scored two runs late in the game to comeback and beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2, which must have made things doubly awesome for the fans.

If you’re wondering why Rangers fans booed Hamilton, who was a five-time All-Star and one-time AL MVP during his five seasons with the team, there are several reasons.

Not only did Hamilton choose to sign with Texas’ AL West rival, but his wife also blamed the Rangers for letting her husband get away. Then Hamilton upset Texas fans by calling them “spoiled” and saying they are not true baseball fans.

Hamilton said after the game that the boos did bother him, but he is not backing down from his criticism of Rangers fans. He also jabbed them for being louder than ever just to boo him.

“I’m on a different team now, a division rival, I expect nothing less from the fans,” he told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez after the game. “I’ve never heard it louder here in any playoff game, any World Series game, so if that’s what it takes, get after if, fans.”

Gomez asked if Hamilton wanted to address his comments that the Dallas/Fort Worth area is not a baseball town.

“Stick to ‘em. If they pack the house for the next 20 or 30 years, then I might say it’s a baseball town. It’s a football town.”

The reaction of the fans really should surprise us considering they were even booing Hamilton during his slump last season.

Below is a video showing the fans booing him during introductions:

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Angels players have clubhouse pool going for whether Josh Hamilton will be booed or cheered in Texas

There is very little doubt that Josh Hamilton is going to be booed when the Los Angeles Angels travel to Arlington this season to face the Texas Rangers. His career in Texas ended on fairly sour terms, and Rangers fans probably became even more irritated with him when Hamilton said Dallas is not a true baseball town.

Hamilton will get the reception out of the way early, as the Rangers visit the Angels on April 5. According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, his new teammates are already having some fun with it.

The Angels are setting up a clubhouse pool on whether Hamilton receives more boos or cheers when he returns to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 5. Hamilton expects to be booed.

‘I got booed when I played there,’ said Hamilton, alluding to the response to his final game as a Ranger. ‘Why wouldn’t I get booed when I play there as an Angel?’

Where can I sign up? I don’t care what the odds are on Hamilton being booed more than cheered — it might as well be free money. Hamilton also backtracked on his comments about Dallas not being a baseball city and said the “fans where great” when he was there, but he’s right. Rangers fans booed him when he was in a slump. They’re certainly going to boo him when he’s suiting up for the opposition.

H/T SI Tracking Blog