I remember being in favor of the Mariners pursuing free agent Josh Hamilton. There was all that hot talk about the team being willing to spend more money and how the young guys were about to break out and the big three would soon be on their way and moved in fences for more dong jobs and hey look at this big awesome scoreboard the Mariners will be good in a couple of years or three we promise! The 2014 class of available hitters wasn't looking too hot and so it made sense to perhaps go big a year early and lock up a star caliber player for when all the goodness started to trickle in.
The Mariners reportedly offered something a lot like 4 years/$100 million, with two vesting options. It certainly didn't strike one as unreasonable. Hamilton ended up going to the Angels for 5 years/$125 million plus all sorts of other small little perks. For some, this marked doom for the Mariners, proof that all good players hate Seattle and that the team would never be capable of landing a Run Producer in free agency, that ownership was still too cheap and all that and so on.
You know where this is going.
To date, Josh Hamilton has come to the plate 188 times. Here's what he's managed to accomplish:
Not, as they say, so hot. It turns out Hamilton's long successful approach of swinging at everything and relying on otherworldly coordination and talent to mask pitch recognition and strike zone awareness problems has begun to betray him as his body has grown a bit older. He's now just the smallest tick slower, unable to make contact and produce power the same as he once did, and it's been a disaster. Some players, like Hamilton, operate on the furthest brink that their talent provides, where a millisecond or millimeter could be the difference between glory and failure. Right now, those small fractions are catching up with the slugger, and he's only getting older. Every day. His mortality and inevitable demise growing ever more haunting and stark with each passing moment.
So, hey, good thing the Mariners didn't sign him to that contract, right?
Pitching: Aaron Harang vs. Jerome Williams
Location: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Television: ROOT Sports