It’s brighter at night for Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. The reigning American League MVP has stats that are, well, more valuable at night rather than in the daytime. This remains a significant storyline because the Rangers play two day games this weekend against the New York Mets.
“It’s just hard for me to see [at the plate] in the daytime. It’s just what it is,” Hamilton said before Wednesday night’s loss to the Houston Astros.
Hamilton is hitting .374 under in night games. That’s 41-for-109 with six home runs, seven walks, 14 strikeouts and 28 RBI. Also, he has a 1.076 OPS at night.
Before reading on, I would suggest applying eye black or wearing flip shades because you might squint in disbelief. Under the sun, Hamilton’s numbers are dim. He is batting .122 (6-for-49). Those six hits do not include a home run. He only has four daytime RBI, eight walks and 17 strikeouts. He also has a .429 OPS in day games.
“Try to go up [to the plate] squinting and see a white ball while the sun is shining right off the plate, you know, and beaming right up in your face,” said Hamilton, far from beaming, but still managing a slight smile as he responds to this topic for the millionth time. I appreciate his sportsmanship in answering it, but I did preface the conversation asking him if he had any new theories on the drastic splits.
“I ask guys all the time. Guys with blue eyes, brown eyes, whatever ... and guys with blue eyes have a tough time,” said the blue-eyed outfielder.
This blue-eyed blogger/broadcaster is still a few credits shy of his ophthalmological degree (as in admittance to med school and all the credits needed thereafter), but we can explore the scientific aspect of that statement in a future blog.
You could pray for cloud cover Saturday (3:10 p.m. first pitch) or Sunday (2:05 p.m. first pitch). However, there could be a remedy for Hamilton’s hitting phenomenon.
“I just got some new sunglasses that I wore last year that I did not have any more of and couldn’t find any more of so I got them again,” said Hamilton. “Hopefully that’ll help my eyes relax enough to take them off and bat and put them on again.”
Shades of greatness? In his MVP season last year, Hamilton hit a respectable .286 (w/.819 OPS) in the daytime along with a robust .384 (w/1.121 OPS) at night.
Hopefully, Hamilton’s future in the daytime is ... bright.