To Boo or Not to Boo: How to Welcome Josh Hamilton Back to Arlington

Categories: Media, Sports

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This afternoon, Josh Hamilton and his luxuriant, flake-free hair will take the field in Arlington for the first time since dashing the Rangers' playoff hopes by badly muffing routine fly ball then bolting for Anaheim. And no one really needs to be reminded of last season's summer-long slump, his absurd energy drink habit and his claim that Dallas is "not a true baseball town."

Now, the Rangers fan is faced with something of an existential crisis: to boo or not to boo.

It's a question that has consumed sports media for the past week. Some preach a Christ-like turning of the other cheek; others urge Herod-like retribution. The Star-Telegram's Gil Lebreton is among the latter, though he stops a bit shy of calling for a literal crucifixion.

Silence today for Josh Hamilton? Whatever you read on Facebook, don't do it. It's a senseless idea whose subtlety is certain to go straight over the simple Hamilton's curly head.

Silence? No, speak up. Let your voices ring out today like banshees.

The smart baseball fans in attendance will cheer, Hamilton suggested earlier this spring. The ones who don't get it, he winked, will boo.

So, by all means, speak up.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/04/04/4751303/with-josh-in-town-its-time-for.html#storylink=cpy

Jean Jacques-Taylor at ESPN Dallas resigns himself to the fact that the boos will come. He's okay with that, but thinks that we should all just get over it, that Hamilton's sins were the product of a lack of maturity. His takeaway: "Treat Hamilton like an ex and wish him well. There's no need to be angry."

Or maybe there is a need to be angry, but we should express our feelings in a more passive-aggressive way. WFAA has a piece on the 15-year-old who launched a "Silence 4 Josh" campaign. Cute.

Leave it to the Morning News to appoint itself as the adult in the room. Columnist Kevin Sherrington thinks fans should cheer Hamilton, which just doesn't seem that realistic.

Sherrington's opinion is endorsed this morning by the paper's editorial board, which took the time to weigh in on this issue of vital importance.

So ... boo? We hope not. It might offer temporary satisfaction, but it accomplishes little and proves less. Relative silence is a reasonable option but also falls short.

How about some respectful applause that recognizes what Josh Hamilton accomplished here with his play and through his struggles with addiction? He was the best player on the best teams (so far) in Rangers history. If you loved those two World Series, at least be honest with yourself: They never would have happened without his big bat and hustle in the field.

Clearly, this conundrum won't be solved by game time, so fans will have to let their feelings guide them, or else keep engaging in a debate about the moral philosophy of fandom which, to be honest, sounds a lot more boring than baseball.


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27 comments
DavyCrockett
DavyCrockett

Too bad for Josh that Tommy Hunter isn't still around. I have it on very, very, very good authority that he'd go to his house after games and pound a few beers and leave while they were both on the team.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

You yuppies hurry up and enjoy opening weekend, so I can go to some games.....you fruits!  Josh is gone....I'm already over it!  

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

I say let bygones be bygones .

Lets welcome him back with an after the game party  involving body shots off of some fine looking babe on a pool table and Hookers and Blow in the Can !

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Eric, don't ever refer to JJT again. He's more hack than Whitt. Which is difficult to be.

The whole "good fans will cheer him for what he did" rhetoric is insulting. Josh is a mental midget. He's also on a division rival now. I appreciate his good plays in Rangers uniforms, but he moved on for the money. That's fine. But my loyalties are to the Rangers, and booing him will screw with his head, so for the mind-games alone he needs to hear nothing good every time he's at bat or fields the ball.

Fans can influence gamesmanship too. Especially with a dunce like Josh.

Kevin Hough
Kevin Hough

Just think how Powerful Total Silence would be ! and going 0-3 amongst "Real Baseball Fans" .......

Karen Gordon Eastburn
Karen Gordon Eastburn

I don't get why everyone's so harsh. Did you really want him to stay? I didn't. Let's get over Josh Hamilton and concentrate on whooping their butts! I say do the classy thing - he did a lot of good for Texas let's not act like rednecks.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

When Josh was a Ranger we'd swoon.

Now, we're singing a quite different tune.

To L. A. he went,

Then dished Dallas to vent.

He'll get his comeuppance real soon.

Joe Guzman
Joe Guzman

No matter what you do to try to distarct him..I just hope we win the game...tha's what counts!!

Joshstruckoutagain
Joshstruckoutagain

I'm with merk, although Josh was my favorite Ranger while he was here..He is not here and on top of that he's an effing Angel now.  I say boo him with the white hot intensity of a thousand crack pipes! Make it as loud as that ol gal in the Sherlock's bath closet. Josh, I hope you strike out about 12 times this weekend, Sincerely Ranger fan since the late 70's.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

I recognize in my mind what hamilton meant to the Rangers, but I will not cheer him while in a division foes uniform.  When he is retired and returns to Arlington to thank John Daniels and the Rangers for giving him the opportunity to reclaim a career that was dead on  the street corner with a sack of cocaine and booze, then I will cheer him for all he did for us.  But today he is the enemy, the enemy who cant quit talking shit about the front office with that douche CJ, and he deserves every boo he gets, I hope it hurts his feelings.  

Paul Grubbs
Paul Grubbs

Love me, hate me, but don't ignore me! Egomaniacs cant stand the silent treatment besides we don't know anything about baseball anyway, right?

Kasey Cheshier
Kasey Cheshier

The way he acted when he left? Yep, fans are gonna boo him everytime he takes the plate

Brian Chestnut
Brian Chestnut

Boo him for talking sh*t when he left. He sure didn't have a problem with the Rangers or the DFW area when he was cashing those paychecks.

Double-O-Joe
Double-O-Joe

Look: personal issues, immaturity, and bolting to Anaheim don't matter in the end.  Josh was a core part of making the Rangers successful for once.  Without him, it would have been a lot harder to compete the way they did.  He was the face of the team, and even though he went coo-coo ca-ca, he deserves at least a thanks for what he did here.  I say applaud when he takes is first at-bat.  

Then cheer even louder when he strikes out.


Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The silent treatment?  A 15-year old's mentality thought this up, be reminded.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

sports is a business.  get over changes.  grow up.

joe.tone
joe.tone moderator

@ozonelarryb Isn't not growing up precisely why we watch sports? To pretend, like we did when we were 7, that these people are larger than life, that there are heros (yay!) and villains (boo!), that this shit actually matters?

I say boo him, heckle him hilariously but not profanely, enjoy watching him hit, marvel if he goes yard and shake your head knowingly when he strikes out on three pitches and looks utterly bored doing it, anything to keep your face out of your phone and your mind off of whatever it needs keeping off of. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@joe.tone @ozonelarryb you should only get on your phone once today, to check in at the ballpark, after that, pocket it for 3-4 hrs and enjoy a beautiful day with a beautiful game being played

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

@joe.tone @ozonelarryb sadly u r prob right. Mao was wrong: Sports is the opiate of the people.

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