And now a few words from Chris Davis and Josh Hamilton
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton both talked about the Rangers over the weekend in separate articles on MLB.Com. Davis talked about his struggles in Texas and had some interesting things to say about his time in Texas. Chris Toman wrote the story:
Receiving everyday at-bats and being allowed to fight his way through a slump is something Davis described as a turning point in his career.
“I felt like there were times where there was a little bit of pressure on me,” Davis said. “Because I knew if I failed last year, it wasn’t the fault of anybody else but mine, because I was going to be given the opportunity.”
That wasn’t always the case in Texas, where Davis shuffled back and forth between the Majors and Minors, and battled inconsistency at the big league level. The constant juggling and uncertainty surrounding his future with the Rangers began to wear on him mentally.
“There were times in Texas when I felt like they were giving me an opportunity, and there were other times when I felt like if I made one mistake, I was going to be gone,” Davis said. “It was a very uncomfortable feeling, and it took a lot of joy away from coming to the field every day.
“It’s kind of crazy to say, because my whole life I enjoyed playing the game of baseball and there were days that I didn’t even want to go to the field.”
Davis would terrorize Minor League pitching but was unable to translate that success to the Majors, going through extended periods of time without seeing the results he desired.
“I was like, ‘I think I have as much talent as these guys and the ability to play up here.'” Davis said. “There were times when I showed that ability, but then there were times when I was just so unable to make an adjustment and I was just overwhelmed.”
Hamilton talked about his decision to leave the Rangers with Angels beat writer Alden Gonzalez…
“I don’t think I’ve made a bad decision by any means,” Hamilton said when asked about the Rangers’ hot start. “I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be. Every team, for the most part during a season, goes through somewhat of a little slump. It goes back to who’s hot at the right time. So if we continue winning, other teams will struggle at some point.”
The Angels went into Monday’s Freeway Series opener riding a season-high eight-game winning streak that has seen them gain three games on the division-leading Rangers, who lost their second straight game earlier on Monday. But Texas opened 2013 with plenty of breathing room – much like 2012 – despite losing Hamilton and clubhouse leader Michael Young, and despite being without the likes of Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis and Joakim Soria.
Hamilton isn’t surprised.
“Pitching’s pitching,” he said. “When you can have a little bit of offense and you have guys that are getting the job done on the mound, you win ballgames. And you play defense. It’s just being consistent with all those things.”