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04/13/11 12:49 PM ET
Hamilton apologizes for remarks following injury
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
DETROIT -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton apologized to third-base coach Dave Anderson for critical remarks he made after Tuesday's game against the Tigers.
Hamilton was injured sliding headfirst into home in the first inning. He suffered a non-displaced fracture in the humerus bone just below his right shoulder and will be out six to eight weeks. At first Hamilton expressed anger at Anderson for sending him home, but he said Wednesday afternoon that was wrong.
"The more I thought about it, the more I understand I have to take responsibility for what happened," Hamilton said. "I know I had a choice not to go and I chose to go. I appreciate Dave has confidence in my ability to think that I could make it."
Hamilton and Anderson met before Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Tigers to discuss the play. Hamilton expressed remorse for his earlier critical remarks.
"I could have taken a different route," Hamilton said. "I could have cooled down before I spoke. The play itself, it could have gone a couple of different ways. I could have made it and not get hurt."
Hamilton was on the third with one out in the first inning. Adrian Beltre lifted a high pop foul near the Tigers dugout. Catcher Victor Martinez and third baseman Brandon Inge went after the pop. Inge caught it but nobody was covering home plate. Hamilton tried to score, but Martinez raced back to the plate, caught the throw from Inge on the run and applied the tag for the out.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland was among those who thought it was the right play to make on the Rangers part.
"I thought it was a great call," Leyland said. "If he had been safe, he'd have gotten up pumping his fist, the bench would've been pumping their fists. That's what I think, because I would've been. I thought it was a heckuva play. It's a shame that he got hurt, don't get me wrong. You feel terrible when somebody gets hurt, but it was a good play."
Rangers manager Ron Washington, who coached third base for 10 years with the Athletics, also stood by Anderson.
"You think Dave is the only one that has happened to?" Washington said. "We've all had guys thrown out at the plate. That doesn't mean they'll get hurt. It's part of the game. You don't like it, but you can't change the game. That's the way we play the game, we're aggressive."
Anderson told Hamilton that home plate had been left uncovered. But Washington and others suggested that it's still ultimately Hamilton's decision to actually try and score.
"As far as getting into that, I don't think there is any reason to keep talking about it," Anderson said. "The play happened and the unfortunate part is he got hurt. In the past, he has scored from second on an infield out, scored from first on a long single and scored on a double steal. It was just one of those plays where we tried to be aggressive."
Hamilton got hurt sliding headfirst. He also was steadfast in his belief that he should not have slid feet-first because it would have presented more of his body for Martinez to tag.
"Not for that situation," Hamilton said. "The object is to try to score."
Said Washington, "He could have slid feet first and broken his ankle. I saw three other headfirst slides yesterday and nobody else came up with a broken shoulder. It was a freak play. It's not going to stop us from playing the game the way we play it."
This is the third time in three seasons that Hamilton has been on the disabled list. He also missed significant time last September because of an injury. He is tired of it.
"I do get tired of people saying, 'He has only played in this amount of games or averaged so many games over the past four or five years,'" Hamilton said. "It's not like I'm getting hurt doing nothing, like running the bases. I'm getting hurt making plays and playing the game of baseball.
"Maybe I should be a wimp and not play the game the way I know how to play it."
Hamilton is also frustrated because his latest injury will also lead to people questioning how he plays the game.
"That's like beating a dead horse," Hamilton said. "How else would I play? I don't want to be a wimp. It's becoming a pain in my rear, playing hard and getting questioned about it.
"I could understand if I was pulling things like hamstrings. But I'm getting hurt on high-intensity plays, getting hurt on plays like hitting the walls. I'm making the plays the game asks me to make."