32 days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training for the Texas Rangers.
Once upon a time, #32 was a big deal for the Texas Rangers. From 2008-2012, it was worn by Josh Hamilton, the guy who electrified everyone in the Home Run Derby in 2008, who won the MVP in 2010, who hit what should have been the biggest home run in Rangers history in 2011, who hit four home runs in one game in 2012.
Josh Hamilton should be a hero in Texas. His story deserves a happy ending here. Alas, it was not to be...the Rangers couldn't hold that extra inning lead against the Cardinals in 2011, Hamilton fell apart down the stretch in 2012, fans turned on him, booed him, and he ended up going to the Rangers' arch-rivals for a big $125 million payday, then followed it up with some...shall we say...impolitic statements about the Rangers fan base.
Especially that first year he was gone, Josh Hamilton was the bad guy, but now, I'm not so sure if that's the case anymore. Josh hasn't been good, or healthy, for Anaheim. He's due $23 million for 2015, and $30 million in both 2016 and 2017. There's already talk about him likely not finishing his contract with Anaheim, and of course, to move him, the Angels would have to pay a hefty chunk of his salary. Maybe he bounces back, but more likely, entering his age 34 season, Hamilton doesn't have the transcendent bat speed and athleticism to make up for his poor approach at the plate. More likely, he's simply done as an above-average everyday player.