The Baltimore Orioles television crew was having a little fun as Josh Hamilton doubled in his third at-bat during the Texas Rangers victory over the Orioles. "He only hits homers with Elvis Andrus on base," quipped the broadcasting duo. Unfortunately for the Orioles, Andrus managed to reach base four times - the number of times Hamilton would homer in the game that would eventually be a 10-3 Rangers victory.
Hamilton's story is well known - a bad boy who looked washed up a couple of years ago has a moment of weakness that goes highly publicize in the offseason. Then, of course, there was the unfortunate incident in Texas where a father fell to his death after Hamilton graciously threw the ball into the stands.
Hamilton was described as "distraught" after the incident. Who wouldn't be?
As a fantasy owner of Hamilton in two leagues the performance has done wonders for my team. Yet the story of Hamilton is so much more important to baseball. There is never talk of steroids when it comes to Hamilton. He is pure baseball greatness and with luck will remain healthy physically to top his 2008 when he posted .304-32-130-98-9 numbers. Thus far he is .406-14-36-25-2 in 2012. He currently leads the AL in average, homers, and RBI.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Matt Kemp is doing exactly what was expected of him - .404-12-27-29-2. While his surrounding talent is not as robust as Hamilton's, he has simply rolled with a .488 OPB and a ridiculous 1.305 OPS. He leads the NL in batting average and homers. He is second to his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Andre Ethier in RBI.
There never seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding Kemp. Since entering the league at 21 years of age he has shown a certain workmanship akin to that of Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter. Unlike Hamilton, Kemp isn't quite a natural - it took some time to perfect his skill set and he occasionally disappointed. He hit just .249 in 2010 and has had to battle through his high strikeout rate.
Nonetheless, Kemp put it all together on 2011. He finished the year .324-39-126-115-40. While his stolen bases are down thus far in 2012, he could shatter the remaining numbers he posted the previous year.
Sources: Yahoo! Sports
Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A native New Yorker until 9/11, he considers Pa. his adoptive home. A passionate Yankees fan and Pennsylvania sports enthusiast, Robert is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.
- Sports & Recreation
- Josh Hamilton
- Elvis Andrus