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Josh Hamilton, the Return of the Comet?

So writes George Vecsey this morning in The New York Times -- referring, of course, to The Commerce Comet himself, Mickey Mantle. Insists the sports scribe, of the myriad comparisons made in recent days -- Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. chief among them, per vanquished Yankees manager Joe Girardi -- perhaps one need look no further than former Watson Circle homeowner Mickey Mantle. Writes Vescey, "Mantle's tortured life and Hamilton's imperiled life strike me as very close to each other." Except, Hamilton cleaned up while still a young man in his prime; while Mantle was "indulged by the open city of New York" and sobered up late in life and, even then, "carried a hangdog sense of shame and sadness through his final public months."

Two other Rangers-related highlights if you missed them this weekend: Peter Gammons on MLB.com offers this lengthy, beautiful, funny piece about how Friday night's game exorcises the demons that have been piling up in Arlington since April 1972:

The Rangers will always be poor Rogelio Moret in his catatonic state, and Mickey Rivers going up to hit in sneakers, and Randy Galloway writing "Bobby Bonds played right field like it's mined." I always thought the Dallas/Fort Worth media was not only among the best in the country, but the least pretentious and true to the culture.

And then, Friday night (or was it Saturday morning), there was this from Jim Reeves, now at ESPNDallas.com. Worth a read if you missed it; a revisit if you've seen it. He, like Gammons, looks back at what was and still can't believe what lies ahead: Game One of the World Series on Wednesday night.

Like wisps in the wind, all the old memories came flooding in, then faded away, vanquished perhaps forever: the 100-loss seasons those first two years in Texas; the David Clyde debacle; the four managers in one week; the Roger Moret catatonic trance; the armed guards on an off day at Arlington Stadium; the A-Rod promise that never materialized; even the bankruptcy that happened only yesterday.

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