(Photo Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images)
I know what you’re thinking: Jamie, why the heck are you writing about two guys we absolutely hate around here?
Because something just dawned on me. Sports redemption is happening right in front of our faces. We’re getting our good karma for suffering through a terrible season of give-up from one of the worst players to ever don a Mavericks jersey.
Josh Hamilton’s 2013 season with the L.A. Angels of Anaheim is a reincarnation of Lamar Odom’s 2012 season with the Dallas Mavericks. Both seasons are (or were) record breaking in a negative way for each player.
In 2012 (50 games played), Odom set career lows for the following:
- Minutes per game (20.5)
- Field goal percentage (35.2%)
- Free throw percentage (59.2%)
- Rebounds per game (4.2)
- Assists per game (1.7)
- Points per game (6.6)
Odom has since re-set career lows in points/game (4), free throw shooting percentage (47.6) and minutes per game (19.7) this past season.
In 2013 (70 games played), Josh Hamilton is on pace to set career lows in:
- batting average (currently: .210/on pace for: .210/career average .296)
- on base percentage (.266/.266/.355)
- slugging percentage (.384/.384/.535)
- OPS (.650/.650/.890)
- strikeouts* (75/169/99.3)
*strikeouts would, obviously, be a new career-high, which is a low, obviously.
There are also a few categories where he’s on pace to set career lows in seasons where he has played at least 120 games (which excludes 2007 and 2009, during which he played 90 and 89 games, respectively):
- hits (currently: 57/on pace for: 128)
- home runs (10/23)
- RBI (24/54)
- doubles (13/29)
Josh Hamilton, by his own account, is trying. He’s just not getting anywhere. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he swings on the same plane regardless of where the ball is going. He’s been pretty snippy with the media as of late, which means that he’s sincerely frustrated with the way he’s playing.
SIDENOTE: For those of you that think he’s faking it and really doesn’t care, I disagree. He’s not the kind of guy to fake emotion. He never has been. In fact, I don’t think he has the mental fortitude to keep up a ruse like that for very long.
In the case of Lamar Odom, he was so full of give up that Mark Cuban publicly ripped him in the middle of a game in Memphis (a game which I happened to attend, oddly enough). He was benched for the second half of that game against the Grizzlies, and never saw the court again. In fact, he was so pathetic that Cuban basically cut ties with him all-together, but kept him on the payroll so he couldn’t bolt elsewhere (specifically, back to the Lakers).
In every post-game interview, even in his press conference right after his signing, he seemed morose. Like he didn’t want to be here. Odom, like Hamilton, also lacked mental fortitude, but for a different reason. He couldn’t even bring himself to try for the guy that was writing his checks. I even wrote about it midway through that season, imploring people to stop booing Odom because he couldn’t handle it mentally.
However, one thing I know is true. I enjoy watching Hamilton struggle as much as I despised Odom’s lack of effort. It makes me feel vindicated, in some weird, twisted way. Like my suffering through Odom wasn’t for naught. My reward is Josh Hamilton helping sink the Angels.