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Josh Hamilton gives the Rangers a '50-50' shot at re-signing him

Josh Hamilton will become a free agent just days after the World Series, and he gives the Rangers a '50-50' chance at re-signing him.

Ronald Martinez - Getty Images

Josh Hamilton.

His name says a lot, and nobody is quite sure what to make of Hamilton. He played a major role in Texas' late-season collapse in 2012, and he seemed mentally checked out. He missed four games in September, when he didn't even travel with the club, because of a vision problem.

Texas lost two of those games. And they lost the division by one game.

Hamilton was also involved in the Game 162 nightmare, allowing Oakland to take a 7-5 lead after dropping a fly ball that would have otherwise ended the inning.

Texas went on and lost the AL West to Oakland that day, 12-5.

Hamilton went 0-4 in the inaugural Wild Card round, saw eight pitches, struck out twice, and grounded into a double play.

Texas, of course, went on and lost 5-1 to the Orioles.

Still, Hamilton is the biggest free agent bat on the market this winter, and he'll still likely be highly sought after, odd injury concerns and all.

Hamilton, just minutes after the painful loss, is already talking about his offseason plans -- and gives the Rangers a "50-50" shot at re-signing him.

50/50? Yeah, right.

Trust me, I'm not one to cite "clutch" stats. The sample size is too small. Hamilton came up with one of the biggest clutch at bats in Rangers history last October, but it ended up being moot. Hamilton is fine in the supposed clutch.

Where Hamilton isn't fine, is his approach at the plate. He mentally checks out of at bats. He gets bored at the plate, and that results in awful at bats -- like the four we saw on Friday night in Arlington.

I'm not Josh Hamilton. I can't tell you what goes through his head. But he's been the offensive force behind Texas' lineup the last three years, and he failed miserably when the Rangers needed him the most.

50/50? He's not coming back. And truly, it's a shame in a way. He deserved a better fate than the way he went out, but c'est la vie. He'll end up going to the highest bidder -- and it won't be the Texas Rangers.

Rangers fans might be mad at Hamilton -- and some of that anger is deserved. But fans should also remember that the Rangers that they love would not be the Rangers without Hamilton.

It'll be an interesting offseason in Texas, and it all starts with Hamilton -- and where he ends up. Like Lone Star Ball's Adam J. Morris, I'm putting my money on Baltimore.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.