SEATTLE — Josh Hamilton’s attempt to beat out an infield grounder with a headfirst slide into first base landed him on the bench for up to two months.
The 2010 American League MVP was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday by the Los Angeles Angels with a torn ligament in his left thumb. He was hurt trying to hustle down the line and beat out a grounder in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s loss to the Seattle Mariners. Hamilton was thrown out, but the consequences of his decision ended up being far greater.
“The news sucks,” Hamilton said. “Anytime you play and you’re playing hard and having fun, the last thing you want to do is do something that is going to cause you to miss time and maybe hurt your team in the long run. If I could see the future, obviously, I wouldn’t do it.”
Hamilton strained a calf muscle during a baserunning drill Feb. 25 and didn’t play in his first spring training game until March 17. He is hitting .444 with two homers and six RBIs in 27 at-bats this season.
Hamilton believes he can still keep his timing down with his swing even while he’s sidelined.
“Disappointing in general that you’ve got to miss some time, because as a player you prepare the whole offseason to come in and do what you can to help contribute to your team winning ballgames,” he said. “That’s the most disappointing part of the injury.”
The injury rekindled the debate about sliding into first base, as Hamilton wasn’t the only player to make that choice in Tuesday’s game. Seattle’s Michael Saunders had an awkward slide into first base running out a ground ball.
“It’s just part of who I am,” Hamilton said. “I’ve done that a lot.”