In the aftermath of a stinging season-ending loss in Philadelphia in 2008, Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo shrugged his shoulders and infamously offered:
"If this is the worst thing that ever happens to me, well, then I will have had a pretty good life."
In the wake of a stinging playoff loss in Arlington on Sunday, Texas Rangers' outfielder Josh Hamilton shrugged his shoulders and (infamously?) offered:
"For me personally, there are a lot bigger things than baseball in life. Period."
Romo, of course, was barbecued for his statement. A celebrity quarterback. A choker. An all-style, no-substance leader who would never lead the Cowboys to a playoff win because he clearly didn't care enough. I'll be interested to see how (if at all?) Hamilton's seemingly casual approach is received by long-suffering Rangers fans in full panic mode.
Josh got two walks in Sunday's 5-2 loss that forced Tuesday night's Game 5 in Tampa Bay. But does he also get a free pass?
Again, for the record, I love Josh. Think he's hands down the AL Most Valuable Player this season. But, let's face it, he hasn't been good this series.
After winning a batting title and willing his team to a division championship, Hamilton is only 2 of 14 in the ALDS with two singles. Tampa Bay pitchers rarely throw him a fastball, instead carefully feeding him a diet of off-speed stuff around his ankles.
"Pressing? I think you can use that word," Hamilton said in the clubhouse Sunday. "Trying too hard. How long do we have 'til the next game, 48 hours? I'll figure it out. That's what makes this game fun. You figure them out, then they figure you out, then it's your turn again."
While Tampa's Evan Longoria has recovered from a late-season injury to give his team a needed offensive punch, Hamilton and his sore ribs have yet to show up for the series.
If before the ALDS I told you that Hamilton wouldn't have an extra-base hit or an RBI you would've predicted a Rays' sweep. If I also told you that, after a second consecutive deflating home loss, one of the Rangers' leaders downplayed the defeat as basically "no biggie", I'm assuming you'd have a problem with that.
Unless, of course, it's Hamilton.
'Splain that to me. After saying basically the same thing in the neighborhood of the same situation, Romo gets criticized but Hamilton skates?
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Is it because we appreciate and cherish Josh's journey with drug addiction more than Tony's rise from undrafted free agency?
Is it because we sympathize more with a man we feel has his head buried in Scripture rather than one out chasing golf birdies and giggity chicks?
Or is it simply because what the quarterback of the Cowboys says is that much more important than the words of the best player on the Rangers?