Hammering Hamilton

12 05 2012

As this week comes to a close, Hamilton closes the chapter on one of the best sports weeks a professional sports player has ever had. This season could also be the last chapter of Josh Hamilton’s tenure in Texas.

Joshua Holt Hamilton smashed a curve ball from C.J. Wilson into the stands for yet another home run in the Texas Rangers recent 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. (keyword: smashed.)

Hamilton has collected nine home run in his last six games this week. He only sits behind Frank Howard of the Washington Senators for the all-time record, who hit 10 homers during a six-game stretch in 1968.

Hamilton joins one other player to have hit 18 homers in the first 34 games of the season. Cy Williams accomplished this feat in 1923.

Even though this single week was incredibly memorable, No. 32 has been a monster at the plate all season long. He leads the entire league in batting average (.402), home runs (18) and RBIs (41). He makes every one of his appearances at the plate a must-see for any baseball fan.

“Locked in” doesn’t give Hamilton enough credit for what he has done so far. No matter the pitcher, the ballpark or the pressure on his shoulders, he has produced at an absurd level for the Rangers. Injuries have derailed him the past few seasons, so his ability to play an entire season is still uncertain.

As he continues to head toward a possible Triple Crown, owners continue to crunch the numbers to figure out if they can bring this gifted athlete to their town. He is the free agent this upcoming off-season, and if the Rangers find a way to win the World Series (third time’s a charm?), it could be extremely difficult for owner Nolan Ryan and his wallet to bring back the 2010 AL MVP.

However, no matter what it takes, Ryan needs to sign the man. Ryan needs Hamilton for his organization to continue to thrive.

The Rangers have quickly vaulted into the elite class of the MLB after many years of bottom-of-the-barrel fishing, and the organization has put Hamilton at the helm. Even though Michael Young has been in Arlington longer, this DFW metroplex has fallen in love with their Hambone.

Yes, Hamilton has had the field issues that he is fighting to deal with. At one point before he came to the Rangers, he hit the absolute bottom (for a professional baseball player). The MLB didn’t even want him in their league.

But through a religious finding and accountability partners, Hamilton not only got his life back together but also emerged as one of the best playing the game today.

When the Rangers had a chance to take advantage of their player when he seemed at his absolute lowest during his relapse this summer, they decided to temporarily suspend contract negotiations so Hamilton could recover from this problem. Ryan did this because he is trying to create a type of ballclub that is like a family. He doesn’t treat his players like business pawns; he treats them like real human beings.

As Hamilton fights his own human problems that the media eats up quicker than Albert Pujols’s struggles, his team has always backed him up. Even with these problems, he showcases his aptitude for baseball every single night he steps on the field.

And this has all happened in Arlington. This has happened right along side the Rangers rise to two straight AL Championships and the best record in the 2012 MLB season so far. This has all happened in a Texas Rangers uniform.

If the Rangers and their franchise player want a win-win situation, a deal must get done. No other city or management would be willing to provide one of their players with what Texas has given Hamilton and no other player could provide a team with such a unique and captivating attitude in their leader.

Yes, there is the risk of his injury problems at the age of 30. Yes, he has off the field issues that have popped up more than once. Yes, it would probably cost nine-digits to keep him from going to another team.

But the Rangers need this. Hamilton needs this. The unique partnership between these two parties is more than simply a professional sports team bringing in a person to play their designated sport. A bond has been created for the better of the Rangers franchise and for the better of Hamilton as a player and as a man.

Hopefully Nolan Ryan will make the right decision when the time comes – no matter the cost.

Sign Josh Hamilton.

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