Ranger Anger: Josh Hamilton Returns to Texas as Member of Rival Angels - NBC Southern California

Ranger Anger: Josh Hamilton Returns to Texas as Member of Rival Angels

A predictable chorus of boos greeted Josh Hamilton is his first game in Texas as a member of the rival Angels



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    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 5: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts to a question during the press conference before batting practice for a game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 5, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)

    Josh Hamilton was booed during his last game at Rangers Ballpark -- and that's when he was still playing for Texas.

    Now wearing an Angels uniform, Hamilton was greeted Friday at Rangers Ballpark by another chorus of fan discontent as he ran to right field and throughout his at-bat in the second inning at Rangers Ballpark. Hamilton struck out swinging to the delight of Rangers fans still stinging from his off-season departure to the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels.

    He ended up 0 for 4, striking out twice in the Angels' 3-2 loss.

    It was the five-time All-Star's first game against his former team since the former AL MVP signed with the Angels.

    "I'm not expecting anything I can't handle,'' Hamilton said Thursday before the game. "I figured I'd try to run out there when Albert (Pujols) is announced before me and as they're booing him, just kind of slide out there behind him so it's not so bad. I was booed when I played there. Why would you expect not to be when I'm playing here?"

    Not everyone in the stadium expressed animosity. Several fans lined up near the Angels' dugout before the game for Hamilton's autograph.
    Hamilton took a $125 million, five-year deal from the Angels after a career-high 43 home runs with 128 RBIs in 148 games for Texas last season.

    Texas is coming off a season-opening series against the Astros, the division's newest team, and Yu Darvish came within an out of a perfect game and Rangers pitchers struck out 43 batters with two shutout victories.

    "He was a good teammate and we enjoyed having him and everything. He's a freak athlete, he's great, but now he's on the other team and I don't really care,'' said left-hander Derek Holland, the scheduled starter for Texas. "Just like anybody else, I wish him the best but at the same time you want to go out there and win."

    The Rangers, who went to their only two World Series with Hamilton in their lineup, will be playing at home for the first time since that one-and-done, wild-card 5-1 loss to Baltimore last October.  Hamilton was 0 for 4 in that game with two strikeouts, both on three pitches.

    He swung at the first pitch his other at-bats -- including a double-play grounder in the first that sent home the Rangers' only run.

    Hamilton's family is expected attend Friday's game, scheduled to begin at 11:05 a.m. PT.

    "People know my family, and I just hope to hear they have a good experience watching the ballgame," Hamilton said.