When the Angels did everything possible to rid themselves of Josh Hamilton following his drug and alcohol setback earlier this year people supportive of Hamilton no doubt thought something along the lines of “I hope he joins another team and it comes back to bite the Angels.”
Well, it has.
Hamilton hasn’t been particularly good for the Rangers since the trade, producing mediocre results on the field and often being out of the lineup due to injuries, but last night at least he was a big part of why the Angels lost a crucial game to take a big chunk out of their Wild Card hopes.
Hamilton, whom the Angels are paying about $60 million to play for the Rangers, made a fantastic over-the-shoulder catch in the second inning to save at least one run and maybe several more. At the plate he hit a double in the second inning and later knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly as the Rangers won 5-3 to clinch their playoff spot.
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For his part Hamilton said all the right things following the game and insisted playing against the Angels provided him with no added motivation, telling Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times:
It’s not anything different than if it was any other team. Like I’ve said before, I appreciated my time there and had some good teammates and coaches over there who I kept in touch with. I don’t want them to do bad, or anything like that.
Fair enough and good for Hamilton. But a lot of people took a lot of issue with the Angels’ handling of the situation for a number of reasons and Hamilton making key plays against them down the stretch is, if nothing else, good drama.