Josh Hamilton says the Texas fan reaction ‘hurts a bit’

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Josh Hamilton knew the boos were coming in his return to Arlington on Friday, but he was still disappointed by much of what he heard in the Rangers’ 3-2 win over the Angels.

“It probably hurts a little bit more to know that people would just turn that quickly,” Hamilton said. “You know, to think that they kind of supported you, as far as personally, [my] story, things like that. But it just tells you a lot.”

Hamilton also admitted to being anxious while striking out in his first two at-bats. And since he knows some of the ire today was generated with comments he made about Dallas not being a baseball town, he did play along, mimicking throwing a football and making a handoff.

Still, the money quote from today’s festivities will be the one in which Hamilton supposedly compared himself to Jesus. Though he didn’t really do that. According to the Dallas Morning News, the story went like this:

Hamilton said that during the game someone in the Angels dugout, whom he declined to identify, offered a supportive message.

“He said, ‘Where was Jesus got-after the most?’” Hamilton recalled. “He said, ‘His hometown.’ Obviously, baseball-wise, this was my hometown.”

Hamilton finished the game 0-for-4 and had a couple of misplays in right field. He still has two more days off boos coming this weekend.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.