Can Hamilton return to the Rangers?
The final moments of Josh Hamilton’s tenure in Texas seemed to go out on a rocky note with him striking out and ending the lone playoff game in a “0 fer”. But it wasn’t one game that ultimately did him in; it was lack luster play throughout the last half of the season and numerous “problems” that he attributed his hitting slumps too.
Not to mention his two “relapses” that made headlines and he would sit there with his bible in hand asking forgiveness and quoting verses while avoiding answering the questions. You have to take your hat off to the guy, he knew he was in the “Bible Belt” and played it up where he could. Even that couldn’t sway the fans opinion of him…
But even the fans could only turn a “blind eye” for so long. After what seemed like a season of lackluster play, and little to no production and numerous comments where he told the media “He didn’t owe Texas anything” and “There won’t be a hometown discount” fans finally got fed up when he lazily played a fly ball in Oakland that could have clinched the division and laughed it off when Ron Washington confronted him.
Then in the last game of the season, he acted like he could really care less and wanted to get it over with. Fans showed their anger while raining “boo’s” down upon him and he didn’t seem to care. This has led many to wonder, can he return to Texas? Will he be forgiven by the fans? Does the team even want him back?
Josh Hamilton can return to the Rangers as long as he agrees to their terms, the team is not going to “money whip” him with a long term contract. He has been rumored to want a six or seven year deal, but he will be lucky to get a four year deal from most teams. If, and that is a big if, Josh returns to the Rangers, he will need to play his heart out and earn back any appreciation from the fans. The fans will not forgive his quitting at the end of the year unless he shows them he is going to play hard for the rest of his time in Texas.
Now the last question is the biggest one of them all, do the Rangers even want him back? This should really be a two part question; the team would take him back as long as it was for a deal that made sense to the club, the Rangers won’t get into a bidding war for his services. Now the 2nd part of this question is about the need, do the Rangers need Josh Hamilton back?
The Rangers don’t need Josh Hamilton back because they have solid depth in the outfield with a few quality players down in the minors and some who were up with the club this season. You may not have the power in lineup every day with these guys, but at least they can make a catch in the wall and not be on the disabled list for 2 months.
The Rangers will make an offer to Hamilton, the fans will welcome him back if he so chooses to return, but he won’t be treated like the hero he once was, which is why it would be better for Josh to just pack up and move on out. The Rangers might be better off without him.