Friday, May 18, 2012

It Must Be the Bat!!

     Believe it or not, I picked the Texas Rangers to win the 2012 World Series (that is, if Yu Darvish lived up to his lofty expectations, which he has). The main reason why I picked the Rangers is because of their deep lineup headlined by 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton. Despite concerns over his alcohol relapse during the off-season, the former No. 1 overall draft pick hasn't disappointed so far.
     Hamilton went on a home-run hitting tear from May 6th to May 13th, hitting ten home runs and 19 RBIs in just eight games. That includes his historic game on May 8th at Baltimore in which he became the 16th player to hit four home runs. The center fielder also went five for five and had eight RBIs that game. He currently leads the AL in not just homers (18) and RBIs (45), but he also leads the AL in batting average (.399), slugging percentage (.826) and OPS (1.278). He currently has more dingers than the ENTIRE San Diego Padres team. In fact, his 16-game hitting streak was snapped yesterday. The possibility of a triple crown in baseball comes around very rarely, but Hamilton makes it more likely every day.
     So what has been the secret to Josh Hamilton's success? Why, it must be the bat!! The bat that Hamilton used during that week of May 6th is now preserved in baseball history. The piece of timber eventually broke on Sunday Night Baseball on May 13th against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on a flare single to left field. That hit drove in his 44th run and the bat's crack was minor enough to preserve. The bat is up there with Shoeless Joe Jackson and his "Black Betsy", George Brett and his pine tarred bat and home-run bats from Joe Carter, Bill Mazeroski, Carlton Fisk, Reggie Jackson and Bobby Thomson. Since the infamous bat was rendered unusable, Hamilton has four hits in eleven plate appearances, driving in only one run.
     Of course, Josh Hamilton really doesn't need a special bat to put up MVP numbers. But sometimes, a big piece of lumber can help make history and immortality in the game of baseball. Hey, it must be the bat!!!

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