ARLINGTON, Texas – One of the most spectacular weeks in baseball history didn’t satisfy Josh Hamilton's skipper.
Ron Washington wants more from the 2010 MVP. Much, much more.
“I hope he has a three-month run again,” Washington said, noting that Hamilton stayed hot for that long during his MVP season. “He’s such a quality player. When he gets locked in, it’s poetry in motion. Right now, he’s locked in.”
That’s an understatement after Hamilton’s historic week, when he hit .467 with nine homers and 18 RBIs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Frank Howard (1968) and Shawn Green (2002) are the only other players to have nine-homer, 15-RBI weeks in major league history.
Washington is challenging Hamilton to keep it coming.
“A lot of it depends on him,” Washington said. “How bad does he want to just continue to go out there and just show his talents and not give away anything? That’s when you walk into the superstardom part, when you go out there every single day and not give away nothing.”
Hamilton is making no promises about his production but guarantees that his approach and routine won’t change. And he’s glad to be getting pushed by Washington, embracing the challenge.
“It’s good to have your manager expect a lot out of you and want a lot out of you,” Hamilton said. “It makes you better as a player. If he was content with me just showing up and going through the motions, the respect we have for each other probably wouldn’t be like what it is. It’s good to hear because I expect the same thing, so we’re on the same page.”
* Bench coach Jackie Moore is back after leaving last night’s game due to dehydration. After feeling woozy and nauseated, Moore was taken to the hospital for tests, which all came back clean.
“It’s hard to keep a good man down,” the 73-year-old Moore said with a smile. “I feel fine now. I’m ready to go.”
Added Washington: “The last 12 games have been pretty rough, and Jackie’s no spring chicken. He works his butt off and wasn’t taking in enough fluids. It finally caught up to him. He’s got boxes of fluids in his locker right now.”
* How commanding is the Rangers’ eight-game lead over the AL West rival Angels? According to Elias Sports Bureau, only three teams have trailed by eight games through May 14 and come back to win their division crown: the 2002 Oakland Athletics, 1987 Detroit Tigers and 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates.
* Nelson Cruz is the only Ranger to play every game in the field this season, but that streak will end this week. “He’s going to get him a day,” Washington said. “I don’t know which day, but he’s going to get one.”
* The bat Hamilton used last week is headed to the Hall of Fame after cracking on his RBI single Sunday night. He hadn’t selected a replacement before batting practice, but he knows it will be a 35-inch, 34-ounce Louisville Slugger H359. Hamilton also swings a Louisville Slugger L161, but he plans to use the H359 for now because of its thinner handle, a feel thing that sometimes changes on a daily basis.