Josh Hamilton was right.
It was a “stupid play”.
And it was a stupid play for everyone involved.
It was stupid for Hamilton to try and score.
It was stupid for him to slide in head first.
It was stupid of third base coach Dave Anderson to send him.
You can read the story and see the video here on ESPN.com.
Delving deeper and analyzing, however, you can explain what happened without condoning it.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels defended the play after the game by saying “We play an aggressive style of baseball. We run. We take the extra base. The chances of getting hurt on that play are minimal. I’ve encouraged Dave to keep being aggressive.”
Fair enough, but it’s Anderson’s job to know the situation and, more importantly, to know who’s running and how important he is to the team. Hamilton’s fast, but he’s no speed demon; he’s in the lineup for his bat. Had it been Julio Borbon on third, you send him. Hamilton? No. Safety first with the stars whose game is based on what they can do with the bat.
It appeared as if it was Anderson who hadn’t thought things through before telling Hamilton to run. With 2 outs and Nelson Cruz coming to the plate, was the risk worth the reward in the first inning? Even if Hamilton had scored unscathed? No.
I also understand where Hamilton is coming from as he’s frustrated from the injury and that he ignored his instincts in running when he shouldn’t have. I don’t get the impression that Hamilton was overtly blaming Anderson with his comments after the game—he was more aggravated that he listened to his coach when he should’ve trusted himself.
And the head first slide—especially into home plate—is ridiculous.
This wasn’t an intentional gaffe of baseball related dogma without accounting for circumstance that’s implied by the oft-repeated statement, “this is how we do things” . It was a heat of the moment play and reaction from everyone.
Hamilton got hurt on a mistake. Everyone has their share of blame, but the public debate and flogging is misappropriated doling of responsibility.
It was something that just happened. The best thing they can do is learn from it and not let it repeat itself ever again.
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