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.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.