But the lineup with Hamilton in it would have been really good - basically replacing LaRoche's bat with Hamilton's.
Well, that depends what Hamilton you get. Josh Hamilton is the exact opposite hitter from Jayson Werth: swings at everything, cannot walk, and when he does make contact the ball ends up on Jupiter. That makes his hitting very, very contingent on whether or not he's "on" that week. Yeah, you'll get a month where he bats .450 and hits 12 home runs. Then you'll get a month where he's the worst hitter in baseball. The sum total is a guy you simply cannot trust when the season boils down to one game, because that elimination game might be the game where he goes 0-4 with a GIDP and two strikeouts. Which is his line from the Rangers' last game of 2012.
In my new office there's a guy working half-time, easing himself into retirement. He has season tickets to the Rangers behind home plate, in the executive seating, and when the season starts I'm gonna turn on the TV and look for him. But he says to me that he called the box office and said "If Josh Hamilton comes back, I will not renew my season tickets."