Josh Hamilton’s teammates say he’s in great shape and ready to play

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The Angels are in Houston to play the Astros this weekend. Technically, Josh Hamilton is still a member of the Angels, even if the club is acting like he isn’t. Hamilton has met with manager Mike Scioscia and some of his Angels teammates. They are telling remarkably different stories about the condition Josh Hamilton’s condition is in.

Last night Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reported that Mike Scioscia voiced concern over Hamilton, saying that there was “no clarity that [Hamilton is] getting the help he needs,” and that “[t]hat’s a major concern.”

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports, however, that his teammates think Hamilton is in great shape. They say he’s recovered from both his shoulder surgery and whatever substance abuse issues he had. David Freese said that  “from what I hear and what I see, he’s kind of ready to go . . . He’s running, he’s hitting, he’s ready to go physically. He’s doing the things he needs to do to play baseball and taking the necessary steps off the field.” C.J. Wilson goes much further than that. Heck, he sounds like Hamilton’s lawyer or agent or something.

This is significant because, as been reported, owner Arte Moreno thinks he can either claw back money from Hamilton or void his deal altogether due to clauses in Hamilton’s contract. DiGiovanna reports that one possible clause relates to Hamilton not being in “first-class condition” because of substance abuse. Wilson and Freese’s comments make that sound like a hard, hard sell.

There are two sides to every story. Every contract has stuff even the people who have looked it over didn’t notice. All manner of things could be going on in the background which you, I, or anyone else not there, on the ground can know. But I’ll say this much: there has been nothing about this story whatsoever to date which makes Arte Moreno and the Angels’ stance regarding Hamilton seem reasonable. Not a single damn thing.

CC Sabathia hopes to play one more year

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Back in May, Yankees starter CC Sabathia said he’d retire if the Yankees won the World Series. That still may be the plan, but he recently told MLB.com that he’s going to try to pitch in 2019, health willing:

“I’m start to start. I go out one start and feel like I can pitch five more years. I go out another start and I’m done. But if I can stay healthy — if my knee holds up — hopefully I’ll play one more.”

Sabathia is enjoying a nice late-career renaissance, having transformed himself from the dominant lefty he used to be to a crafty one over the past several seasons. Sabathia will turn 38 on Saturday, but he’s having another solid season. He has a 3.51 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 18 starts.

Will a World Series decide whether he hangs ’em up? Will his knee? Guess we’ll know by November.