Finally, some normalcy for Josh Hamilton …
Josh Hamilton is looking forward to playing some games at Angel Stadium. It has little to do with the booing he received in Texas, and more to do with the simple fact that, after going on a reunion tour through Cincinnati and Texas to start his Angels career, Hamilton can finally settle in a little bit.
“It’s good to get it out of the way, get that over with, get it settled,” Hamilton said. “I’m sure I’ll relive [the boos in Texas] every time we go back there, but I’ve been through it already. That’s the cool thing, when you can go through something. You get through it, then you’re prepared for it next time. But it’s more exciting for me to be here and be ready, as far as being in a routine for the next week or so. Same kind of schedule. That’s probably the most exciting thing for me.”
Hamilton, as expected, was cheered pretty loudly prior to his Angel Stadium debut on Tuesday night — but not much during the game.
The 31-year-old slugger made a nice diving catch in right-center field in the fifth and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. But he also struck out with the bases loaded in the first, flied out to deep left-center field in the third — with an overly aggressive Albert Pujols getting doubled up — bounced into a force out at home with the bases loaded in the fourth and grounded out to first in the eighth, making him 4-for-29 (a .138 batting average) on the year.
“It’s still an adjustment,” said Hamilton, who feels he’s made strides by coiling more prior to his swing, which helps keep him from flying open. “The biggest thing is getting the family settled in, and just coming here, learning a new park, learning how to get to places and learning what time I need to be places. So it’s going to be good.”
If nothing else, Hamilton doesn’t have to return to the vitriol of Rangers Ballpark until July. This past weekend was a rough one, with fans booing him loudly at the plate, giving standing ovations when he struck out, heckling him in right field and even prompting his wife to move into a suite for the final two games.
At one point, with the crowd loudly chanting “baseball town,” Hamilton pretended to throw a football and receive a snap from under center, prompting Rangers closer Joe Nathan to tell MLB Network Radio on Monday: “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.”
Asked about Nathan’s comments, Hamilton said: “Well, you can’t let people get away with chanting ‘baseball town.’ I mean, a few here and there chanting it is fine. But when half about half the stadium gets into it, you have to bring it back to reality. That’s the only reason I got involved a little bit. I was silent until then.”