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.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.