Not surprisingly, Josh Hamilton was booed heavily in his return to Rangers Ballpark yesterday. However, his family also endured some rough treatment from the fans.
Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports that the Angels requested that security be present for his wife and four daughters. There was no specific incident, but Hamilton said it was “people being dumbasses” and “just guys being ugly, inappropriate to my wife.”
If fans want to boo Hamilton this weekend or every time he comes back to Texas, they have every right to do so. It’s part of the deal. And it’s completely expected for someone who signed with a division rival and has said some interesting stuff since leaving. But family always should be exempt from whatever anger is being directed at a baseball player. You can always count on a few knuckleheads to make everyone else look bad, but hopefully yesterday was as ugly as this stuff will get.
UPDATE: Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports that Hamilton’s family will be a in s a suite for the next two days. There were none available yesterday.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.