Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Josh Hamilton's Injury Has the Texas Ranger Fans, Media Doing the Chicken Little

Josh Hamilton will miss the next 6-8 weeks of the 2011 baseball season after a small fracture in his right arm sent him out of their game against the Detroit Tigers earlier Tuesday afternoon.

While x-rays were negative and though the MRI results weren't expected until Wednesday, Rangers' general manager Jon Daniels called a press conference and right off the bat everyone knew the news wasn't going to be good. They were right.

But after the announcement was made, the entire Rangers' fan base including the media began doing the "Chicken Little" routine running around screaming "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

On my drive home this afternoon, I had it tuned to 105.3 FM The Fan here in the Dallas area and the reaction from on air hosts Gregg "Greggo" Williams and Richie Whitt was that of already wanting to vacate their spot on the team's bandwagon.

The way they were talking, some might have gotten the impression they were ready to stick the proverbial fork in the Rangers and call the season over. It's their opinion of the situation. You don't have to like it or you may agree with it, but it's not the final say in what will happen to the defending American League champions for the next 150 games.

Yes, Hamilton will miss almost two months of the season but let's not forget this same player missed a month of the season last year and the team still won the AL West by lengths that would make Secretariat jealous.

What happens now? That's the question a lot of people are asking at this very moment.

As of right now, the team has called up a familiar name and a player who's done nothing other than struggle through his time with the big club. First baseman Chris Davis, hitting over .400 at Triple-A Round Rock, will get his chance to redeem himself and finally show what he's capable of.

The biggest problem most see with that move is the fact the team is running with just three outfielders (Julio Borbon, David Murphy, Nelson Cruz) at this point with no one to back any of them up who have experience in the outfield.

I get the outfield doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to figure out, but it does take speed and it does take a player getting good jumps on fly balls. Bottom line, it's the position that is going to require a lot of running.

Before you fans start panicking like some of the media seems to be doing, let's not take any credit away from what the other players in the lineup as well as the pitching staff and bullpen have been doing thus far.

C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison, and Alexi Ogando have been nothing short of magnificent so far and though Derek Holland struggled a tad in his first start he was solid in his second go 'round.

As for the bullpen, they have some work to do with a few of their pitchers and it might be a sore spot if they can't move some things around, but having Neftali Feliz in the back end of the bullpen as well as Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver in front of him, at least you know for the most part a lead is going to hold through the final two to three innings of a game.

The injury to Hamilton is going to hurt this team but it's not like this offense hasn't run without him getting a single hit. He still hasn't hit a single home run as of yet and he hasn't been the guy carrying the team.

Say what you want and listen to whoever you want, but though the panic button might be easy to hit right now, leave the freaking out for the radio stations in town. That's what they're good at.

Follow Todd Kaufmann @T_Kaufmann on Twitter or find him on Facebook

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