It happened with Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Now it has happened again with Josh Hamilton. The Texas Rangers traded another big name, and in return have suffered disparaging remarks against Texas and the fans.
In a CBS 11 interview Monday with Gina Miller, Hamilton called Rangers fans “spoiled” and said “there are true baseball fans [in Dallas-Fort Worth], but it’s not a true baseball town.” He also commented on the lack of fan support he received last season because he was booed after missing a routine fly ball.
I do admit that the state of Texas tends to place more emphasis on football rather than baseball. But how is a “true baseball town” defined?
I have been a Rangers fan for about 19 years now, and I would say a true baseball town is one that can fill all 49,170 seats of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. A baseball town is one where I see people in Texas Rangers Baseball shirts or hats every day. It is a baseball town if fans get angry when a former favorite player insults their dedication to the team.
Rangers' Manager Ron Washington refused to respond to Hamilton’s comments. Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News said it was Hamilton who was spoiled not the fans. The Rangers worked with Hamilton when no other team would.
First-year business major and Texas Ranger fan Jett Jenkins said the Rangers took a risk when hiring Hamilton, so he was surprised when Hamilton made it seem like Rangers fans did not support him.
“He was a drug addict. We didn’t have to hire him. We didn’t have to work with him or give him somebody who would keep him on track," Jenkins said. "I definitely think he was spoiled. Anything he brought to the team, he was compensated more than enough.”
Hamilton was offended that fans booed him once in five years. He was a drug addict, an alcoholic and at times an unreliable player. Yet he was booed only once in a critical moment of the season, so he called Rangers fans spoiled. I do not think Hamilton quite understood how much the Rangers did for him.
“We brought in somebody who was broken,” Jenkins said. “The Rangers nurtured Josh Hamilton to make him the player he is today. He wouldn’t be getting paid $25 million a year if he hadn’t come to Texas first.”
I am anticipating April 5 when Hamilton returns to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington wearing an Angels' uniform, he will feel the baseball spirit. I think only then will Hamilton discover the power of the Texas Rangers baseball fan base in Dallas-Fort Worth – a true baseball town that supports their dedicated players.
Molly Spain is a freshman journalism major from Flower Mound, Texas.