Some things are bigger than back end loaded contracts and injury issues, some things require you to think with your heart not your brain. As I sit back and watch the growing excitement at the reports of the Rangers still being players in the Prince Fielder game, I can’t help but think about what it will cost on a personal level.
We have all heard if Prince is signed we lose Josh Hamilton and there is logical support for that to be the case. Hell, just about every other writer on the SDI staff is in full agreement that Josh should be sent packing. I on the other hand would love to see Hamilton around the RBiA until the end.
I remember thinking when the move was first made to acquire Josh that this guy was a fraud. Here’s a guy who let drugs destroy all that natural talent, an addict who is just saying he is clean to get a paycheck until he relapses but somewhere in that season I started to invest in pulling for him. I’m not talking about the kind of rooting we all do for whoever wears that red, white and blue, I’m talking about the kind of rooting you only do for family members or close friends. I started to buy into him staying clean; I started cheering on a phenomenal player that at his core is really just like tons of people I have known in my life. Josh is in a daily fight for the rest of his life! It is that struggle that makes Josh my heart’s favorite Ranger.
My connection to him is not only sports it’s downright personal. He is a Ranger through and through, when I think about winning I send a good deal of the credit in Hamilton’s direction. It is my hope that the team’s front office has the same love affair with Josh that the fan base seems to have. Yes, if you give him the 7 years he wants there is a good chance his skills will decline below what is expected of a guy making that kind of money and no that is typically not the recipe for success. I have been accused of being loyal to a fault and I am loyal to Josh.
Prince Fielder is a shiny new toy that would hit a ton at the Ballpark. Prince Fielder is younger, Prince Fielder is healthier, but Prince Fielder is no Josh Hamilton. Josh is the heart, the identity, the face of that I see when I think about this club. I choose to pay him after his abilities fade because I want him to finish as a Ranger, I choose to have him under contract until he is 38 because I can’t imagine Josh not being here, I pay Josh his money because Josh is and always should be a Ranger. I pay Josh his money because most importantly he has earned it.
My argument is 100% from the heart, I won’t give a bunch of stat lines to prove why he is worth it but I will say that blood is thicker than water and Josh, no doubt, bleeds Ranger Red.
Dear Jon Daniels, Join my cause.