Alexi Ogando has suddenly produced three consecutive outings of five innings or less. Fourth outfielder David Murphy just went 1 of 9 to drop his average to .233. And the Rangers have lost 12 of their last 19 -- including 3-3 on a homestand against the Astros and Mets -- in clinging to a lead in the
mediocre AL West with a record of 41-38.
Last year the Rangers won the division with a hot, 21-6 June highlighted by an 11-game winning streak. This year -- with a day off before a three-game series in Houston -- they are only 12-12 in June. The frustration is starting to show.
Especially in the eyes of star Josh Hamilton.
After ridiculously blaming his poor production in day games on the color of his eyes, Hamilton tried tinted contacts Saturday and promptly went 0 of 4 with four strikeouts. He took the contacts out after the third strikeout, but it didn't matter.
He's hitting .122 in day games, .377 at night.
They've been playing baseball in this country since the Civil War and Hamilton is the first player to complain about the supposed handicap of having blue eyes. He hit a decent .286 in day games last year. Just sounds like a load of you-know-what.
I hear Hamilton fans and irrational Rangers fans somehow backing their player, pointing to medical studies and doctors and this and that. Cal Ripken, your thoughts?
Coulda sworn the bluest eyes in the history of baseball got 3,000 hits and a place in baseball's Hall of Fame. As a guy with blue eyes, I can tell you that it's difficult to see in the sun, but nothing sunglasses or the experience of living with them for 40-something years can't fix.
The excuse is just weak. The problem isn't in Hamilton's eyes, it's in his head. Tennis legend Bjorn Borg never won a U.S. Open and he blamed it on his difficulty seeing the ball at night in New York. Some people just plain have better vision than others, but ...
"I'd be batting .600 if I could figure out how to hit in day games," Hamilton said. "It's frustrating for me knowing obviously I could help my team in a big way. I'm there with runners in scoring position and stuff like that and I'm up there looking lost trying to swing the bat. I'll figure it out."
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After Saturday's dismal showing, manager Ron Washington sat Hamilton in Sunday afternoon's 8-5 loss.
"His numbers prove he doesn't hit in the day, but I can tell you he's not going to have all day games off," Washington said. "Anything further than that you've got to get out of Hamilton's mouth."
There is good news: The Rangers don't have another day game until July 10, the last game before the All-Star break.
Here's thanking TV for moving World Series games to night.