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Josh Hamilton Looks Like Old Self After Returning to Texas Rangers

Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

It’s almost like Josh Hamilton never left Arlington.

Yes, Hamilton ruffled some feathers when he left Texas for the Los Angeles Angels in 2013 — namely calling the DFW area “not a true baseball town” and that Rangers fans got “spoiled.”

But it appears that most Rangers fans have been quite forgiving of Hamilton since he returned to Texas last month. And he’s been thanking them for it.

In seven games Hamilton has two homers, five RBIs and put a big exclamation point on his homecoming Sunday when he hit a game-winning double against the Boston Red Sox in Arlington.

“It feels like old times, it really does” Hamilton said after the game.

Even while he stepped up to the plate, the Rangers crowd was going insane at Globe Life Park. And then he caused a wild celebration.

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Of course, Hamilton has never been a stranger to controversy or headlines. His years-long battle with drugs and alcohol are well-documented. His recent divorce from his wife surprised many, especially her.

On top of that he wore out his welcome in Los Angeles, and the Angels went so far as to eat most of his contract when they sent him back to Texas. Hamilton had been struggling with the Angels, and he recently underwent shoulder surgery and self-reported a substance abuse relapse earlier this year.

The Rangers only owe him $2 million per season through 2017.

But if he keeps playing like he has through seven games this season (and keeps his head on straight), that’ll be quite the deal.

He’s apologized for the comments he said since he returned to Texas. He even referred to being back with the Rangers as being “home” again.

“The whole baseball town thing I’ve got to address,” Hamilton said recently. “I’ve said some dumb things, and I’ll continue to say some dumb things at times. I’m not going to sit here and try to clarify all those things I said because we’d be here for a while, but I just want all the fans to know I’m back here, I’m back home, I’m going to give you everything I’ve got just like I did when I was here.”

Hamilton hit .305 with 144 home runs in six seasons with Texas, even winning the American League MVP award in 2010. And he’s starting to look like that Josh Hamilton we remember for the resurgent Rangers.

Texas is just 1 1/2 games out of a playoff spot after a rough start to the season.

If you’re a Rangers fan, are you happy to see Josh back in Texas? Have you forgiven him?

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