Josh Hamilton Taking the Right Steps to Get Long-Term Deal

Josh Hamilton Taking the Right Steps to Get Long-Term DealJosh Hamilton is fighting for more than the box score. He wants the big contract.

With his performance on Tuesday night, the Rangers outfielder continued to prove that he is quite deserving of a new deal. Hamilton hit four home runs, becoming the 16th player in Major League Baseball to accomplish the feat.

Hamilton also added a double in his 5-for-5 effort, finishing with an American League-record 18 total bases. The total was one shy of Shawn Green's mark from May 23, 2002.

Before the season started, Hamilton — who is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict — came under scrutiny for relapsing at a bar. Many speculated that the resurfacing of his woes would hinder his chances of obtaining a long-term deal.

Little by little, the 30-year-old is revalidating the claim that he's one of the elite players in the game. Little by little, he's giving the Rangers reasons to remain committed to his future.

Since his slip-up, Hamilton has taken the right steps toward quieting concerns from his past. After the relapse, he met immediately with the media and answered all questions surrounding the incident. He was honest through it all.

Now, he's quieting his critics on the field. Through 27 games this season, Hamilton has belted 14 home runs, driven in 36 runs and has a .406 batting average. His slugging percentage stands at .806, and his OPS is an eye-popping 1.298.

Injuries plagued Hamilton in 2011, limiting him to 121 games. His numbers regressed, too, as he finished with 25 homers and 94 RBIs, statistics well short of the slugger's typical standards.

Once again, Hamilton is overcoming the odds. After all the adversity he's faced, it's no surprise.

If he continues his torrid pace, Hamilton could have a stranglehold on the American League MVP trophy as well as a chance to return to the World Series for a third straight season.

And a long-term deal could be next.

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