Josh Hamilton said the atmosphere at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was "hectic" and the crowd's constant booing of him "disappointing," but the Los Angeles Angels outfielder denies he took out his frustrations Sunday with an obscene gesture to fans in the right-field stands.
"I never would do that. Ever. I never would flip anybody off," Hamilton said Sunday. Hamilton signed a $125 million, five-year deal with the Angels this past offseason after six seasons with the Rangers.
Hamilton told reporters Sunday that he made a "football sign" to the stands, responding to accusations by fans on social media that he had made an obscene gesture. Hamilton made a comment during spring training that the Dallas/Fort Worth area was a football town and was tormented by chants of "baseball town" all weekend.
On Sunday, he also reacted to the crowd by turning and clapping in his glove during one of the chants from Rangers fans, who he described as a "rough crowd."
"It was a little more hectic than I expected," Hamilton told reporters of the constant booing. "The persistence of the crowd. The first day, with the first couple of at-bats, I understood. I was able to block it out a lot better later. It was a little surprising, but not really surprising. It was a little disappointing more than anything, probably. I don't take it personal."
On Saturday, Hamilton said his wife, Katie, had to call for security before Friday's game because fans were shouting obscenities and personal insults at his family.
The Angels dropped two of three games against the Texas Rangers, their AL West rivals. Hamilton had three hits in the series finale. He finished 3-for-13 in the series, and is batting only .160 (4-for-25) on the season.
Hamilton told USA Today Sports that he doesn't expect the crowd to make it any easier on him during his next trip back to Arlington (July 29-31), but he'll be ready for it next time.
"I don't think it will get less and less, but I think it will be easier for me because I've been through it," he told USA Today, later adding that he'd "like to think they were booing the front office here."
Information from ESPNDallas.com's Todd Wills and The Associated Press was used in this report.