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Josh Hamilton Responds To Nolan Ryan's Criticism

To say Josh Hamilton is currently under the microscope would be an understatement. Ron Washington commented on Hamilton's approach earlier this week, saying that he often gets bored at the plate. Team president Nolan Ryan echoed that sentiment on Tuesday, when he said that Hamilton "gives away" at bats.

Needless to say, these aren't comments that you'd like your manager and president saying about you -- and especially not in a contract year.

Hamilton responded to Ryan's comments on Wednesday night, and as expected, he handled it with class.

Said Hamilton:

I respect Nolan as a former player and what he stood for. Even as team president, it's clear he cares about us so much that he gets frustrated when we don't do what we are capable of. We value his opinion. I respect it.

The criticism is quite valid. Since May ended, Hamilton has seen his production drop considerably. In June, Hamilton hit a paltry .223/.318/.436, and has been even worse in July, hitting to the tune of .161/.229/.323.

Even worse, Hamilton has drawn just one walk since the All-Star break, and he's struck out 16 times. Hamilton clearly needs to improve his discipline and focus on every single at bat. He's simply too talented and too important of a piece to the Rangers to be "bored" and giving away at bats.

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