Surprisingly, the Texas Rangers who have gone to back to back World Series are already done for the season. The Rangers were one of the best teams in the middle of the summer with a fourteen game lead over the Oakland A’s. However, which team still has light at the end of the tunnel? Yes, the Oakland A’s, the little engine that could. So how did this power house team collapse in the end?
President Nolan Ryan may have a reason. Josh Hamilton is one of the most electrifying players in all of baseball. However, it always seems that there is something standing in his way. One day its his contacts the next day he is having trouble with his balance and now there is a new excuse to the superstar’s slumping. Nolan Ryan stated that Hamilton decided to quit smokeless tobacco during the season. “You would’ve liked to have thought that if he was going to do that, that he would’ve done it in the offseason or waited until this offseason to do it,” Ryan said. He quit in August which does coincide with the time that he was slumping, but really? How can it all be on Josh Hamilton? There is so much talent in that lineup. For as talented as Josh Hamilton truly is, there is so much baggage that comes along with him.
Everyone knows about his struggles with sobriety and the relapse he had in the offseason. I cannot imagine that chewing tobacco was the true culprit to Hamilton’s struggles, but something much deeper within himself. Hamilton is an addict for life and nothing can change that. He was probably showing addictive behavior that is poisonous to himself and his teammates. The Rangers have said that they will not immediately offer Hamilton a contract until he explores his options as a free agent. Basically, they are not trying to bring him back for all the headaches he brings with him. I think that the Rangers are overlooking the fact that Hamilton still finished the year with a .285 batting average, 43 home runs, and 128 RBIs. I wouldn’t exactly call that a bad year.