I’ve taken another step into this new world we live in. In the last few months, I’ve apped up with both Spotify and I Heart Radio. Spotify is pretty cool. I resisted it for a long time, but I have to admit it’s helped me find new music.
I Heart Radio has shifted my paradigm in that I once again listen to Norm Hitzges and The Hardline of Dallas radio fame on a daily basis. Right now I’m listening to The Hardline discus the topic of Josh Hamilton. I wrote about Hamilton in this blog last May, pondering at the time how Hamilton must have felt following his four-home-run performance against the Baltimore Orioles.
Those were among the best of times for the Hamilton-Rangers relationship. These no doubt are the worst of times. In May, I claimed that Rangers fans embrace Hamilton both because he hit like a monster and because he has real-world problems (drug and alcohol addiction). Well he stopped hitting like a monster and mostly looked bad at the plate for the second half of last season. He dropped a pop fly in a critical moment of a crucial game down the stretch and Ranger fans were done with him. I’m a Ranger fan and I was ready for him to be gone.
Well, just in case any Ranger fans were on the fence, Hamilton nudged them away this week.
“They’re supportive but they also got a little spoiled at the same time pretty quickly,” Hamilton told Gina Miller of CBS Dallas.
That seems somewhat innocuous, but as pointed out by The Hardline, Hamilton bypassed the opportunity to say nothing in order to say something subtly accusatory. So Ranger fans, and folks whose job it is to comment on the Rangers, are pissed.
“I hate that dude so much,” said Hardline producer Danny Balis. “He is the biggest fake, phony, fraud who has ever played sports in this town.”
Maybe you’re thinking my point is “look how quickly fans will turn on a guy.” It’s not. I totally understand why Rangers fans have turned on Hamilton. He played poorly and did so with apparent apathy and then he left town. I don’t know if I totally agree with Balis, though I understand the contempt.
But in reality, the Hamilton-Rangers relationship started off the final year of his contract on thin ice and then got much worse in July, August and September. By the end of the season it was obvious he had to go.
You know when a breakup is coming. Sometimes it’s not pretty but that’s always the risk. The fact that Hamilton did some mild post-relationship trash talking is just something that happened, like a Hockey highlight.
But yeah, he’ll get booed when he comes back for the Rangers home-opener in Arlington. Such is the life of a lightning rod.
Photo via The Dallas Morning News/AP.
Follow The Live Ball on Twitter @live_ball.