Josh Hamilton‘s historic display of offense Tuesday night was simply phenomenal. Regardless of where your baseball loyalties lie, you need to admit his performance was spectacular. Currently Hamilton earns $15.25 million per year. He is one of the premier players in the game. We can safely assume the price tag for his services next season will probably go the route of the Avengers movie and set a new record. Except I have some unsolicited advice for the Rangers, or any team considering a Josh Hamilton courtship: to the buyer beware.
Hamilton, like any player, is a risk. I wonder if his past off-field problems will impact his future. The turnaround in his life is awesome and for that, I commend him. However, any general manager would have to ask themselves whether Hamilton could handle the pressure of a contract similar to the current first baseman for the Angels. Yes, you know where I’m going with this: Albert Pujols. The best word I can use for Pujols right now is funk. He’s in the funk of his career. I believe it’s the pressure of the contract.
Some suggested the contract Pujols signed is a distraction and they are correct. He will come out of it and when he does, I believe “The Machine” will dominate. The question with Hamilton is can he handle that pressure? A very select group of clubs can afford that liability. How many would be willing to? Will the fans demonstrate enough patience?
There are many questions that surround such contracts and the decision-making process. As observers and fans of the game, the public sometimes forgets these players are human. I am not faulting Hamilton for his past, I’m merely stating a reality of life and the business of professional sports. I like to think that Hamilton is emotionally and mentally prepared to assume a role with such scrutiny. I will state it again, he is an amazing talent and a true asset to the game.
In the end, Hamilton will get paid whether he stays in Arlington or goes elsewhere. The question will be whether he can handle the pressure of the mega-contract fishbowl he will find himself swimming in.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!