Josh Hamilton had no answer for the boos that rained down in his return to Arlington on Friday; the former AL MVP went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a couple of misplays in right field as the Angels lost to the Rangers 3-2.
Adrian Beltre hit a game-tying homer for Texas in the seventh, and Ian Kinsler singled in Craig Gentry for the go-ahead run in the eighth.
The Angels got nothing out of their vaunted middle-of-the-order today, as Albert Pujols, Hamilton and Mark Trumbo combined to go 0-for-10 with two walks.
Besides struggling at the plate, Hamilton had a tough time in right field.
Hamilton turned A.J. Pierzynski’s double into a triple in the second inning and later got a late jump on Lance Berkman’s fly to shallow right in the fifth. The ball dropped out of the reach of both Hamilton and second baseman Howie Kendrick, and Berkman was credited with a double.
Hamilton is now 1-for-16 with eight strikeouts this season. His one hit Thursday did drive in two runs.
Hamilton spent five years with the Rangers before signing a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in the offseason. He won AL MVP honors in 2010 and hit 43 homers and drove in 128 runs last year,
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.