After Josh Hamilton(notes) broke his arm, he broke his third-base coach’s reputation. Dave Anderson, a man with a name befitting the anonymity he enjoyed until Tuesday afternoon, sent Hamilton home on a play that could’ve gone two ways. If he slides in for a run, it’s savvy. If he gets tagged out, it’s stupid. Baseball, wicked sense of humor ever present, offered a third: It’s painful, both in the snapped bone and the blow to the Texas Rangers as they spend the next two months trying to replace one of baseball’s best players.
When Hamilton blamed Anderson for urging him to dash for a run when Detroit Tigers catcherVictor Martinez(notes) stood away from home plate, he wasn’t wrong per se. And that’s the irony in it: Hamilton, who has become so accountable as he beat drug addiction, blaming someone else for something he brought upon himself.
It’s not just that he could’ve stayed at third base. Players ignore coaches all the time. It’s that the Rangers – from owner Nolan Ryan down to the laundry guys – know that Hamilton must be treated differently not because of who he is but who he was.