Josh Hamilton and the Rangers: Going, going, gone?

Wild Card playoff

Credit: Getty Images

Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton talk as they walk out to the field after Hamilton struck out to end the bottom of the eighth inning in Friday's Wild Card game against the Baltimore Orioles. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)



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Posted on October 8, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 8 at 8:13 PM

Rangers fans: Do you want to see Josh Hamilton in the lineup next year?

ARLINGTON — For the last few days, the talk on radio and among baseball fans has been all about Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

"Josh Hamilton is the number-one whipping boy," said Randy Galloway, who has a popular sports talk show on ESPN 103.3. "Believe me, it goes beyond Josh Hamilton, but if you want to beat on Josh, feel free."

In Friday's Wild Card game against Baltimore, Hamilton was booed again and again, after going 0-for-4 on just 8 pitches.

"Josh is probably the strangest guy, the most talented slash weirdo, slash strange, guy that I’ve ever seen come through here — and we've had some strange ones," Galloway said.

"You know, baseball is strange," Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters. "When you're doing well, they love you. When you're not doing well, they show their disappreciation of you, so I guess that's what they were doing."

"They pay for tickets; they have the right to do what they want to do," Hamilton said after Friday's game. "You hate to have it happen, possibly the last game ever here."

Hamilton's teammates offered little insight as to why the star slugger slumped during the most important stretch of the season.

"Did you talk to him about it? He can speak for himself," said Rangers catcher Mike Napoli.

Hamilton, like every free agent, has priorities. It'll start with the money, but nobody is sure what comes after that.

"Of course I do," Hamilton said. "You don't get to know."

"Josh Hamilton and the Rangers — that is not a fit," said Tim MacMahon of ESPN "He's shaking the dust off his feet and moving on to the next town."

"Josh's passport is headed somewhere, headed out of this town," Galloway added. "I don't think anything will change that right now."

Rangers management team is expected to address their off-season plans sometime later this week, and at that time, we expect to hear more about Josh Hamilton and if he will continue to have a place on the Texas roster.