Josh Hamilton’s error looms large as Rangers watch A’s celebrate division title

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

Every bad collapse needs an error to lead the lowlight reels and Josh Hamilton unfortunately found himself as the source for the one fronting the fade of the 2012 Texas Rangers during Wednesday's 12-5 loss at Oakland.With Texas poised to finally escape a bottom of the fourth inning that saw Oakland score four runs to tie the score at five, Hamilton approached a high pop fly from A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Though the play was as routine as they come, Rangers fans watched in horror as what should've been the third out of the inning bounced off Hamilton's glove and into the outfield behind him. Two Oakland runners came around to score, giving the A's a lead they would never relinquish.

"I just missed it, man," Hamilton told reporters. "I didn't break down on it like I needed to. When you run a long way in like that, you're supposed to break down on your toes so you can get there and if it moves on you, you can make the adjustment. I didn't. I kept going and it came down and I didn't catch it. It sucks."

Would Hamilton's miscue make our list of history's 10 biggest errors that we posted just a few weeks ago (and was  made up entirely of postseason miscues)? It occurred early enough in the game and there was a brutal sun shining over Coliseum (though Hamilton claimed it didn't play a role), so my initial impulse is to say no. The Rangers offense still had plenty of time to make it a moot point and you could say the game shouldn't have even mattered as Texas held a five-game lead with nine to play.

But that's not to say that the error won't stick with Hamilton, particularly if the Rangers end up falling in Friday's play-in game and the center fielder signs a free-agent deal elsewhere in the offseason. Rangers fans on social media seemed amenable to the two sides parting ways and Hamilton didn't help his cause at the plate any. He was 1 for 5 with three strikeouts on the day and 2 for 13 with only one extra-base hit over the three-game sweep.

The good news for Hamilton and the Rangers is that they still have a chance to bury the nightmare of the past few days with a wild-card win and a prolonged run through the postseason. The bad news is that their margin for error won't be able to withstand the type of error that Hamilton made on Wednesday.

Are you ready for the postseason?
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