Josh Hamilton ‘Stupid’ for Ignoring Instincts, Calling Out Coach

by NESN Staff

April 13, 2011

Josh Hamilton 'Stupid' for Ignoring Instincts, Calling Out Coach Stupid is as stupid does.

Josh Hamilton is going miss up to two months with a fractured right humerus. The former AL MVP was injured diving into home after tagging up from third on a popout in foul ground in front of the third-base dugout.

“It was a stupid play,” Hamilton told The Associated Press. “The whole time the ball was in the air, [third base coach Dave Anderson] was yelling, ‘Go, there’s no one at home,’ and I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to do this, something is going to happen.’ But I listened to my coach.”

How about listening to your instincts?

It sure sounds like a “stupid play,” but with no one covering home and the aggressiveness that’s given the Rangers such success in recent years, I personally love the idea of scrappy baserunning and putting pressure on the defense. Rangers manager Ron Washington agrees.

“We play an aggressive style of baseball,” he stated after the game. “The chances of getting hurt on that play are minimal.”

Does Hamilton — who did get hurt on the play — agree? Not so much.

“It was way too aggressive,” he added. “Maybe if they had both been closer to me, but they had a perfect angle to cut me off, and the only way to avoid a tag in that situation is to go headfirst.”

First of all, there’s such thing as a feet-first hook slide.

Secondly, Josh, you’re the reigning AL MVP, meaning you’re probably pretty good at baseball. This also means you’ve got pretty good instincts and high baseball IQ. Unless Anderson was stabbing you off the bag with an antler shiv, or tossing Jessica Biel‘s phone number at home plate, you’ve got a right to stay put. No coach, at any level, would call out a player for using his judgment in such a scenario.

As for calling out Anderson after your injury? It doesn’t take a genius to call that a low blow. He’s your eyes on the basepaths, but when you’re looking at the same play, from the same distance and angle as he is, it’s time to take matters into your own hands.

And what would have happened if you made it home safe? Let’s say that the Tigers defense noticed your daring attempt one second later. Or that the exchange to from Brandon Inge to Victor Martinez was mishandled. Or rather than doubting yourself and your coach, you confidently sprint home and use a more effective (and safer) slide? Would Anderson have received the attention — and the credit — then? It’s hard to imagine it would, coming from someone who tosses his coach under the bus.

Maybe you can add the “Could’ve Had a V8” forehead slap to Antlers and Claws craziness.

Do you blame Dave Anderson, or do you think Josh Hamilton is at fault for not relying on his instincts? Share your thoughts below.

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