Rangers should re-sign Hamilton
I answer that question with a resounding “Hell yes, they should resign him.”
Let’s look at his numbers so far this season, and if he stays on the pace he is on, what his numbers could potentially be. We are just shy of one-fifth of the way through 2012. Hamilton is hitting .395 with 15 homers, 38 RBI, 45 hits, and has has scored 26 runs. Of his 45 hits, 19 are for extra bases, and only four of thouse are doubles.
Hamilton is on pace to get around 570 at-bats this year. If he stays in the groove he is in, these are the numbers that we could be looking at at the end of the year: 225 hits, 130 runs, 190 RBI and 70 home runs. Now, is it realistic to believe he will stay this hot? No, its not. But he has been in the league for more than six years, and pitchers haven’t found a way to get him out consistantly.
The question that keeps popping up is, “Should he get Pujols and Fielder money?” I say,”Absolutely.” Hamilton has a knock on him for being often injured. There is a reason for that . He is 6-4, 240 pounds, and he plays the game like he is 5-10 and 180 pounds — meaning that he slides head first into bases and sells out on every play in the outfield to make the catch.
There are things in his game he needs to change. I have told him this to his face. The biggest thing being sliding head first into bases. He is too big to be the guy taking the pounding on a slide. The game has middle infielders whowill drop a knee down to take the bag away, that can lead to broken fingers, hands and wrists. Also the play that he broke his shoulder on last year was a play at the plate where he slid head first. When you are as big as he is, you should be the one issuing the pain. Especialy sliding into home. If he slides feet first, there are not a lot of fielders who are going to drop a knee on him at that size. I don’t know if you have noticed on TV, but Hamilton has clown feet. He wears a size 14 or 15 shoe! So I think he can change some things that are instinctual to him right now that will help keep him healthy and on the field.
The other part of this is his history. That shouldn’t be a concern to the Rangers. That can all be addressed in the verbage of the contract. Having spoken to Josh many times and having close friends who have dealt with the same kinds of demons he has dealt with, I believe that Josh and his spiritual beliefs will keep him on the path he needs to stay on.
Lastly, before Josh Hamilton was a Ranger, there were no World Series and Texas was basically a football-only state. That is not the case anymore. What he means to this team from a marketing standpoint is huge. He made a huge name for himself with his story, and made the Rangers a team that is a very close team in the clubhouse, and a team that is getting more recognition than the Dallas Cowboys nationally. It all adds up to this: sign Josh Hamilton before someone else comes along and takes him. Because that line will be long and distinguished!