In his first season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Raleigh native Josh Hamilton is batting .215 with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs through Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. The 2010 American League MVP spent his rookie season with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, and the next five seasons with the Texas Rangers before signing with the Angels. He recently sat down to discuss his season.
You were off to a slow start this season, but you went 5-for-13 with three RBIs during a three game sweep at Detroit this week and seem to be on your way back. What has been the key to your strong play lately?
I think early in the season I felt good, but the results weren’t there. So I figured there was something wrong mechanically and started changing things that didn’t really need to be changed. It just kind of snowballed from there. But I got to clear my head a little bit over these five days off I had with my wrist injury. I understand that my coaches are here to help me, but I know my swing better than anybody and want to get back to what I’ve done my whole life – just having fun and swinging the bat.
Is your wrist back to 100%?
It’s a work in progress, so I’m going to keep working.
Your manager Mike Scioscia praised your work ethic and said your numbers will keep getting better. Do you ever doubt that or have you always thought it’s just a matter of time?
I’m not going to lie, after a couple months I started to doubt, my confidence started to go down, and I got frustrated. I was fine for the first couple of months, but I felt pretty down from last month up until about a week ago. Baseball is a game where you’re going to fail a majority of the time, but I understand that I’m my best coach so I’m just trying to take good swings and have fun.
How was the move from Dallas to Anaheim?
We love it so far. We started home-schooling our four daughters last year in Texas, so it was an easy transition for us all. We can see the beach and go there whenever we want to go. My girls are doing summer school five days a week so we can have more time during the winter to spend time together when I’m off.
How often do you visit Raleigh?
My parents still live in North Carolina, so I’ve been back. I don’t go back there a lot, because I have my own family and I want to keep them settled in one spot. I think I was last there in Thanksgiving of 2011.
What kind of reaction have you received to your recent Head and Shoulders shampoo commercial?
I have fans yelling out, “Hey Josh, look up here – I use Head & Shoulders!” Some of them are being sincere, but others are bagging on me for doing the commercial.
Looking forward to the rest of the season, is there anything in particular you’re looking to accomplish?
Just get back on track and start helping the team. Produce runs and help the team win whether it’s in the field or at the plate.