unusual week in mlb, mike scioscia, los angeles angels

Mike Scioscia had to get in one last dig at Josh Hamilton

I think everyone thought that terrible actions and words thrown at Josh Hamilton by the Los Angeles Angels organization were over now that he had been traded to the Texas Rangers. We were wrong. Manager Mike Scioscia had to say his piece, even when the Hamilton saga was already over.

Just to revisit the completely classless way the Angels handled Josh Hamilton’s admitted relapse. Keep that in mind as I continue that he came forward before being caught, prepared to take the suspension that would surely be thrown at him. Or so he thought. 

An independent arbitrator ruled that Hamilton had not violated the league’s Joint Drug Agreement and would not receive a suspension. 

The Angels were not happy about this. Not a bit. They wanted a reason to not have to pay Hamilton the full $83 million left on his contract. They even tried to say there was wording in his contract that if he had a relapse they could do, well I don’t even know whta they tried to say they could do but the MLB Players’ Association fired right back at the team, stopping that poor attempt to rid themselves of Hamilton in its tracks.

The Angels knew about Hamilton’s drug-related past. Everyone in baseball knew. It was never something he tried to hide and I admire him for that. The Angels scouted him and courted him and signed him to a five-year $125 million contract. That’s their bad. You can’t ever guarantee that a player won’t slump or just go down hill. There are always big free agent signings that back fire. This just happened to be one of them.  Why couldn’t the Angels just suck it up and deal with it?

First GM Jerry DiPoto gave Hamilton what essentially amounted to a public scolding. The team president John Carpino said it “defies logic” that Hamilton was not suspended and to top it all off owner Arte Moreno made a statement saying that he wasn’t sure that Hamilton would ever play for the Angels again. All are classless, tacky comments that are just kicking a man when he is already down.

Hamilton was going through a crisis and the organization abandoned him because he didn’t hit 30 homers last year or whatever. He had no spring training locker or even a locker at Angels Stadium in Anaheim and all merchandise with his name on it had been removed from the team shops. Ouch. Slap in the face much?

Yet his teammates didn’t abandon him. Starting pitcher C.J. Wilson and reigning American League MVP Mike Trout, stood up and were very vocal in their support of Hamilton. Manager Mike Scioscia appeared to be of the same mindset as his players …. that is until Tuesday.

On Tuesday, a day after Hamilton was already back home getting ready to play for the Texas Rangers, Mike Scioscia let his true feelings be known and they are just as classless as the beliefs of DiPoto, Moreno and Carpino.

Scioscia actually said that Hamilton should have thanked the Angels and shown remorse. Um …. ok. Then he went on to try to save himself a bit saying that Hamilton should have at least shown remorse to his teammates.

“For him not to show at least a little remorse toward his teammates I just think is wrong,” Scioscia said. “It’s unfortunate he had his relapse but I know we supported him in every aspect whatever his needs were. Just in hearing some of his comments, the one thing I think is sad and I’m a little bit disappointed is the fact that there wasn’t any accountability most importantly to his teammates.”

His teammates VERY clearly understood the struggles that Hamilton was experiencing and that they went further than him just wanting a drink or drugs. Hamilton is in the process of divorcing his wife, he’d just had offseason shoulder surgery and something tells me that the organization had expressed their displeasure with his production quite clearly even before their public comments on his relapse. 

Even a relatively new teammate to Hamilton, the team’s closer Huston Street who was traded to the Angels from the San Diego Padres mid-season last year said,

“I think it has the best possible ending for all parties.”

He went on to make sure and mention

“For the guys in here, I don’t think it was necessarily a distraction.”

Hamilton did not need to thank his teammates or beg for forgiveness from the only people who clearly understood and supported him. He most certainly did NOT need to thank the Angels for anything at all.

For once I thought at least Scioscia had kept his big mouth shut (I acknowledge him as a great player and an equally great manager, but my mom and I call him “whiny baby” for a reason – he can’t keep his mouth shut – EVER! He complains on every play) but he couldn’t. 

Scioscia had to get one last dig in at Josh Hamilton. That’s just sad. Once again way to stay classy Anaheim. Way to stay classy. SMH.

  • daveminnj

    Totally agree with you.

  • Well said. This reminds me why I can’t stand anything about that team.

    Only Anaheim would use someone not being “family friendly” as an excuse to get out of a contract gone south. The other teams would at least be upfront or sucked it up.

    • Jen Rainwater

      Thank you Steve and Dave!

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