Josh Hamilton came off the disabled list and rejoined the Rangers just in time to play his old team this weekend, but the former MVP doesn’t think facing the Angels three months after they ate most of his contract to make him go away is a big deal.
Here’s what Hamilton told Scott Boeck of USA Today about the three-game series in Texas that starts tonight:
I don’t do anything more different than I usually do before the game. Maybe the focus is a little more there. But nothing to get back at a team for any reason, just like when I left (Texas). When I came back, I was like just treat it like any old road game. I’m going to treat this like any other home game. It will be good to see the guys. All or most of them were behind me when we met in Houston and had lunch. Everybody was cool.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia has a much different view of the situation, saying earlier this week that he hopes Hamilton “will take an opportunity to thank the teammates that supported him and to reach out to (Angels owner) Arte (Moreno) and let Arte know that maybe some of the things he did weren’t what he signed up to do.”
Then, when pressed further, Scioscia said: “We’ll leave it at that.”
Hamilton’s drug and alcohol problems are well-documented, but Scioscia’s quotes when combined with the Angels doing everything they could to make sure Hamilton never played for them again following his relapse are, at the very least, not a good look for anyone involved.
Meanwhile, according to Hamilton he’s “tried many times” to get in touch with Moreno and the Angels owner refuses to meet with him. So maybe next time Scioscia should go public with his thoughts on how Moreno ought to be handling the situation instead.
Making official what was reported last night, Jerry Dipoto has resigned as Angels general manager, stepping down from the job he’s held since 2011 after losing an apparent power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia.
Stories about Dipoto and Scioscia not getting along well have been common for the past 2-3 years, but the relationship apparently reached a boiling point recently and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com documented the drama in a lengthy article detailing the feud.
Some reports today suggested that Angels owner Arte Moreno would try to talk Dipoto out of leaving the job, hoping to salvage the relationship or at least keep other members of the front office from leaving along with him, but that apparently failed.
Dipoto’s decision-making track record is a mixed bag, but it’s worth noting that some of his least successful moves–and specifically signing Josh Hamilton for $125 million–were forced upon him by Moreno and Scioscia has also played a role in some prominent personnel changes that turned out poorly for the Angels.
Scioscia is the longest-tenured manager in baseball with 16 years on the job and also reportedly had star first baseman Albert Pujols on his side, so it’s no surprise that Moreno picked them over Dipoto. In fact, Dipoto’s predecessor, Tony Reagins, was fired at least in part because he clashed with Scioscia.
For better or worse, Moreno is standing with Scioscia.
Josh Hamilton is back from the disabled list and to make room for his return to the active roster the Rangers have demoted top prospect Joey Gallo to Triple-A.
Hamilton played just seven games for the Rangers before hurting his hamstring, which knocked him out for four weeks. He hit well in that brief showing, coming back from shoulder surgery, drug and alcohol relapses, and a trade from the Angels to hit .273 with two homers and a 1.021 OPS.
Oh, and this is fun: Hamilton and the Rangers play the Angels this weekend.
Gallo was initially called up to replace the injured Adrian Beltre at third base and then shifted to left field when Beltre returned. He started out hot and then went into a slump, hitting .218 with five homers and a .754 OPS in 25 games. His batting average was ugly and as expected Gallo struck out a ton, but a 21-year-old posting a .754 OPS in his first taste of the majors is plenty impressive. His power potential is unmatched and he’ll be back in the second half.
In the meantime, Gallo has the second-most strikeouts in MLB history through any hitter’s first 25 career games:
Javier Baez 46
Joey Gallo 43
Giancarlo Stanton 41
George Springer 39
Brett Jackson 39
Jon Morosi reports that the Rangers are expected to activate Josh Hamilton from the disabled list today or tomorrow.
Hamilton, who started the season late due to all of the craziness with the Angels and Rangers, his relapse and his shoulder, has been laid up with a bum hamstring for nearly a month. In his place Joey Gallo has manned left field and is hitting .220/.312/.439 with five homers. We’ve seen flashes of promise and power from him, but he still needs some cooking it seems. He may get it in a part time or platoon role with the Rangers or by being moved around the field as opposed to being sent back down, however.
Hamilton, for his part, went 4-for-12 with three RBI in four rehab games for Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. Before he was sidelined he was 6-for-22 with four walks, two homers two doubles and five driven in for the Rangers.