Josh Hamilton

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Don Wassall, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    After an injury derailed him in 2009, Josh Hamilton is more than picking up where he left off in 2008. He's so good now that Sports Illustrated took a brief respite from its usual agenda of glorifying black athletes and downplaying White ones to tout Hamilton as the best all-around baseball player since Mickey Mantle in his prime.


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    <H1>Hamilton leaving no doubt he is the best player in baseball</H1>

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    Just another night in the life of the best player in baseball went something like this, at least as far as last Friday the 13th:


    "¢ Smash four hits all over the park: a single to left, a 440-foot bomb to center, a single and double to right.


    "¢ Score from third base on a pop fly to deep shortstop/short left.


    "¢ Score from second base on a ground ball to second.


    "¢ Make a diving catch on the warning track and a leaping catch against the centerfield wall.


    "¢ Cause the third-base coach to halt a runner from scoring from second on an otherwise routine run-scoring single to centerfield.


    "¢ Crush the postgame spread.


    "¢ Throw around hundreds of pounds of iron in a postgame weightlifting session.


    "¢ Gulp down a 2,000-plus-calorie protein shake, made with real cream, on the car ride home.


    "¢ Sit down for a full home-cooked meal by his wife. (Yes, for those of you scoring at home, that's the equivalent of three full meals just between the last out and bedtime.)


    The legend of Josh Hamilton, Texas Ranger, is growing on a nightly basis. There is nobody like him in baseball, and possibly nobody this good, this big, this fast and this unique -- a 6'4", 235-pound sledgehammer of a hitter who can run balls down in center field and fly around the bases and hit for such a high average -- since Mickey Mantle in his prime.


    Hamilton leads the league in batting (.362), slugging (.634), hits (161) and total bases (282). The rest of the league is playing for second place in the MVP race. He has no contemporaries, especially when you consider that the Rangers, somewhat against their better judgment, have started him 26 times in center field.


    How rare is that kind of skill set? The last three players to have batted .360 and slugged .600 while playing that much center field are none other than Mantle in 1957, Stan Musial in 1948 and Joe DiMaggio in 1939.


    Now, are there any more questions about who is the best player in baseball this year?


    "He's certainly in the discussion," Texas GM John Daniels said. "You rarely see a guy perform at this level for this length of time."


    In 65 games since June 1, just when the Texas heat is supposed to wilt players, Hamilton has hit .423. He also sets himself apart from other great sluggers because he is one of the game's best base runners and can play Gold Glove-caliber defense in the middle of the field. He has made 14 of his past 24 starts in center field.


    Baseball doesn't have official player rankings as does golf and tennis, though its No. 1 player typically has caused little debate -- from Ken Griffey Jr. to Barry Bonds to Alex Rodriguez to Albert Pujols. Pujols' consistency is remarkable, especially measured against Hamilton's career. Hamilton is 29 and only 16 months older than Pujols, but has yet to play 100 games in back-to-back seasons -- minors or majors. But in the snapshot of today's game, based on skill set and production right now, Hamilton is the new BPB -- Best Player in Baseball. At the end of the year he could wind up with the batting title, MVP, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and All-Star Game election, all for a first-place team.


    The game last Friday against Boston belongs in a time capsule, so that when somebody who never saw him play wonders what Hamilton could do on a baseball field, just that one game will suffice.


    "There aren't many days when Josh goes 0-for-4," Daniels said, "but if it does happen there are so many other ways he can help us win a game. Josh can influence the outcome of a game with his bat and glove.


    "And when he goes from first to third, he's able to turn it on with his head up and without breaking stride and can see the ball or the coach. I was fortunate to see Larry Walker one year in Colorado. He runs the bases like that. He runs with his head up at full speed. He accelerates to full speed quickly, cuts the bases perfectly, and all the while his eyes are where they're supposed to be."


    Walker and Bonds are the only outfielders in the past 50 years to hit .360 with 30 homers -- measurements within Hamilton's grasp. The men to do it before them were Mantle, Musial, DiMaggio and Ted Williams.


    Hamilton is nothing more than a breathtaking comet for the moment. He has no real career to speak of and no certainty to his future. He threw away his early years in baseball because of drug addiction, endured an alcohol-related relapse last year, and his years trying to remain clean have been marred by injuries. He has played fewer major league games than Billy Butler, the 24-year-old Kansas City first baseman.


    New Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg would love to lock up Hamilton this winter to a contract extension that buys out at least one year of free agency. (Hamilton is under Texas' control for two more arbitration-eligible seasons.) But what kind of length could be guaranteed when his body of work, however great, is so checkered? His value is complicated, too, by the oddity of not earning free agent rights until he is 31 years old. Remember, age matters in baseball now. There is not one player today in his age 36 season or older who is healthy and has an OPS better than .800.


    Just for argument's sake, you could draw a faint comparison to Kevin Youkilis, another rare late bloomer, who signed his extension with the Red Sox in 2009 at age 29 -- Hamilton's age now -- and with two arbitration years remaining and coming off a year in which he finished third in MVP voting. He signed for $41.125 million over four years. Here's how Youkilis' numbers then match up with those of Hamilton now:
    <DIV =cnnDivide>
    <TABLE =cnnTM border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=330>
    <T>
    <TR>
    <TD =cnnIETitle>Kevin Youkilis vs. Josh Hamilton</TD></TR>
    <TR>
    <TD =cnnTM>
    <DIV =cnnIEXL>
    <TABLE =cnnTM border=0 cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=0 width="100%">
    <T>
    <TR>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtL>Player</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>Age</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>G</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>HR</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>RBI</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>AVG/OBP/SLG</TD>
    <TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: 0px" =cnnIEColTxtC>OPS</TD></TR>
    <TR =cnnIERowAltBG>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtL>Youkilis</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>29</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>553</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>66</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>314</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>.289/.385/.472</TD>
    <TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: 0px" =cnnIEColTxtC>.857</TD></TR>
    <TR>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtL>Hamilton</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>29</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>447</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>87</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>311</TD>
    <TD =cnnIEColTxtC>.310/.370/.541</TD>
    <TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: 0px" =cnnIEColTxtC>.911</TD></TR></T></TABLE></TD></TR></T></TABLE>


    Hamilton will have bigger numbers and more awards on which to bargain. He will lack the bigger body of work. The Rangers briefly discussed a contract extension with Hamilton in spring training of 2009, shortly after Youkilis signed, but the club hit a financial downward spiral that eventually led to bankruptcy and Hamilton played only 89 games while spending two stints on the disabled list. Both developments put extension talks off to the side.


    Greenberg inherits many financial loose ends in addition to a possible Hamilton extension. The contracts of manager Ron Washington, pitcher Cliff Lee, DH Vladimir Guerrero, catcher Bengie Molina and reliever Frank Francisco all expire this year. All issues are likely to be set aside until after the postseason, in which Texas tries to win its first-ever postseason series.


    "Let's not cloud the picture right now," Daniels said.


    In the meantime, the Rangers will do the best they can to keep Hamilton healthy, which is why they need center fielder Julio Borbon to hit. If Borbon doesn't hit, the Rangers have to play Hamilton more in center field than they would like, with David Murphy in left field and Nelson Cruz, when he recovers from a hamstring strain, in right field. They also need to give Hamilton a few more days at DH while resting Guerrero.


    "It's hard to take Josh out of the lineup," Daniels said.


    Who knows how long Hamilton can keep up this pace? He already has dealt with tendinitis in his right knee this month. But for now, the sight of a guy built like an NFL strong safety crashing into walls, blasting long home runs, flying around the bases, and chasing a batting title with a 22-point lead on Miguel Cabrera is something to behold. There is nothing like it in baseball.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/tom_verducci/08/17/josh.hamilton/index.html?eref=sihp#ixzz0wuDzRVkg
     
  2. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    I love this part of the article:

    "The legend of Josh Hamilton, Texas Ranger, is growing on a nightly basis. There is nobody like him in baseball, and possibly nobody this good, this big, this fast and this unique -- a 6'4", 235-pound sledgehammer of a hitter who can run balls down in center field and fly around the bases and hit for such a high average -- since Mickey Mantle in his prime."

    Hamilton has got to stay healthy and get his team to the postseason so all of America can see his prodigious talents.
     
  3. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    Hamilton has been banged up lately but I'm hoping he has a chance for a brilliant postseason and to show America his awesome athleticism and baseball skills.
     
  4. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    Hamilton finishes at .359 with 32 HRs and 100 RBIs in only 133 games played.

    His defense was Gold Glove caliber again and he should be the AL MVP!Edited by: Van_Slyke_CF
     
  5. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    Interesting article.

    <h2 id="yui_3_3_0_2_130894980501743" ="title">Josh Hamilton says blue eyes cause daytime woes at plate</h2> By 'Duk</span></span>






    [​IMG]


    Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton(notes)</span>
    believes that the color of his eyes â€" blue â€" are the reason for his
    unsightly day-night splits this season. He's hitting a dismal .122 under
    natural sunlight and a whopping .374 under the artificial lights of a
    big league ballpark.



    Hamilton's day-night splits during his 2010 MVP season weren't as
    drastic as 2011's, but there was still a noticeable difference: .286
    during the day and .384 at night. What gives?

    <blockquote>

    "I ask guys all the time: Guys with blue eyes, brown
    eyes, whatever ... and guys with blue eyes have a tough time [during the
    day]," [Hamilton told radio host Bryan Dolgin...].



    "It's just hard for me to see [at the plate] in the daytime. [...]


    "Try to go up [to the plate] squinting and see a white ball while the
    sun is shining right off the plate, you know, and beaming right up in
    your face."
    </blockquote>


    But lest you dismiss Hamilton's explanation for his struggles with the sun
    as an old wives' tale, know this: Not only have fellow ballplayers with
    blue eyes backed his theory, but one optometrist in Texas says there's
    some truth to Hamilton's daytime difficulties.



    From ESPN Dallas: <a name="remaining-"></a>
    <blockquote>

    Dr. Richard L. Ison, an optometrist since 1990 who is
    practicing in Murphy, Texas, said it's true that having blue eyes makes
    it tougher to see during the day than those with darker eyes.



    "Because of the lack of pigment in lighter color eyes -- like blue or
    green eyes as opposed to brown -- you get a lot more unwanted light and
    that can create glare problems," Ison said.



    [​IMG]Ison
    said the phenomenon is called intraocular light scatter, meaning the
    light scatters as it enters, producing a focal point that isn't as good.
    </blockquote>


    Ison says that Hamilton can help fix the problem with a really nice
    pair of sunglasses â€" a pair presumably nicer than the ones George Bush sported in Arlington earlier this week. (Hamilton says he has a new pair that he intends to try out during two day games with the New York Mets this weekend.)



    It'll be interesting to dig and see if any other blue-eyed players
    have numbers that agree, but one of the most-famous blue-eyed players â€"
    Cal Ripken Jr. â€" was able to overcome the handicap. Despite sporting
    some of the lightest blue eyes around, the Hall of Fame shortstop posted
    extremely similar numbers in each instance, but actually hit a little
    bit better during the day (.800 OPS) than at night (.783).



    ESPN's Tim Kurkijan was the one who brought up the Ripken example,
    but also said that Buck Showalter once talked about never drafting two
    types of players: Those with full beards (because they apparently age
    too fast) and those with blue eyes. Whatever helps you whittle down the
    crop, I guess.



    At any rate, any blue-eyed Stewies out there want to pin their failed
    big league dreams on your eyes losing the cruel genetic lottery? At
    least you'll have Dr. Ison and science on your side if anyone chooses to
    call you on it.

    Want more baseball fun all season long?
     
  6. jaxvid

    jaxvid Hall of Famer

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    Stupid article. Complete BS. Racial profiling if you think about it. I don't remember Ty Cobb and Tedd Williams having much trouble playing nearly ALL of their games in the daytime!!

    Notice how Buck Showalter talked about never drafting guys with beards and guys with blue eyes, why didn't he just add blonde hair and sun burnned skin to the mix? Can it be any clearer that he's talking about white guys? If you were to say something like that about a common trait of black players you would have been banned from the league. Note to Yankee fans: Showalter would have passed on Mickey Mantle and Derek Jeter, so yes, he really was an idiot!
     
  7. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    When will they have an article about blacks lack of hand-eye coordination and lack of intelligence? It would only be fair.
     
  8. Truthteller

    Truthteller Mentor

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    I remember seeing Showalter talk about this last year on Baseball Tonight, just before Baltimore hired him and he did sound fairly anti-whiteat the time-- especially the blue eyes, which he didn't bother to explain. My first thought was George Brett. He was, by far,the best hitter in baseball when I started watching the sport and I would bet he has blue eyes. I'm sure there have been many more.

    Weird thing, however,is Showalter has always been fairly white friendly as a skipper-- Yankees, Arizona, Texas and now Baltimore. Joe Torre, who replaced him in N.Y., seems the opposite -- loved loading up his team with hispanic players, in particular.

    Also, the writer in the link is a total retard. Buck said he didn't like teens with full beards because he felt they were already physically mature and would not grow (height wise) much more.If that is true, who knows, but ithas nothing to with them aging too fast.
     
  9. Realgeorge

    Realgeorge Mentor

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    Showalter in Baltimore IMHO has been race-neutral. The story with the Orioles is that ALL of their young players, and recent call-ups, and best farm-hands, are White. Their Negro minor leaguers are all busts, as are most of their Black roster players. Edited by: Realgeorge
     
  10. JD074

    JD074 Master

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    His eyes are very light, maybe gray?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. DixieDestroyer

    DixieDestroyer Hall of Famer

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    Ol' Iron Man Cal Ripken Jr. had the blue eyes as well.
     
  12. Deadlift

    Deadlift Hall of Famer

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    Hamilton is incredible, sparking the Rangers' to many wins. If he can stay healthy the rest of the way, his production will be very good.
     
  13. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Josh Hamilton has 3 homeruns and a double tonight so far against the Orioles in Baltimore. It's the top of the 7th inning right now so he should have at least one more at bat to try and tie the MLB record of 4 homers in a game.
     
  14. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow, he did it!!! Hamilton hit his fourth homerun. The game is still in the 8th inning. Will he get another at bat to try to hit a fifth?
     
  15. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Hamilton has 18 total bases, which is an AL record. He also has 14 HRs, which leads the majors.

    He may get an at bat in the 9th inning.
     
  16. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    I came here to post about Hamilton's great night, but Don's already posted the facts. What a game!
     
  17. Freethinker

    Freethinker Hall of Famer

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    It's obviously way too early to put any merit into talks of a Triple Crown but Hamilton is leading at the moment. .406 average to Jeter's .392, 14 home runs to Granderson's 10 and 36 rbi to Encarnancion's 25. Congrats to Josh for tying the record as well as powering my fantasy baseball team to a great start! :icon_mrgreen:
     
  18. Deadlift

    Deadlift Hall of Famer

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    :clap2: :clap2:
     
  19. Leonardfan

    Leonardfan Hall of Famer

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    Hamilton is truly the Natural. It is a shame he was caught up in drugs for all those years. I could only imagine what his numbers would have been like if he was able to have played in the majors for all those years he missed due to drugs.

    Amazing performance last night though :becky:
     
  20. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

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    Hamilton hit HR no. 15 in yesterdays 2nd game of the doubleheader!
     
  21. knightedsoldier5000

    knightedsoldier5000 Guru

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    Hamilton Hits #18 today! I wonder what he's on pace for this year?

    BATTING
    HR:
    J Hamilton (18)
     
  22. PhillyBirds

    PhillyBirds Mentor

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    Funny numbers department reporting in, Hamilton is on pace to bat .405 with 88 home runs and 209 RBI.
     
  23. Deacon

    Deacon Guru

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    Haha, damn!

    The guy has an awesome stroke.

    I used to love watching Will Clark at bat for that very reason.
     
  24. knightedsoldier5000

    knightedsoldier5000 Guru

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  25. Carolina Speed

    Carolina Speed Master

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    Hamilton #20 today!
     

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