THE NEWBERG REPORT FROM SURPRISE, AZ: March 16, 2008

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I saw It

I saw It with Erica and Ginger, and with Max, who issued several jaw-dropped “Whoaaaaa”’s,
holding the note like he did a year ago while watching flyover
exercises from a bigger-than-life Luke Air Force Base squadron in
formation. 

Maybe the most ridiculous thing about a Josh
Hamilton Batting Practice Display is that since so many of his missiles
explode like a perfectly struck tee shot, every once in a while he’ll
bump one off the end of the bat, and your eyes shift to the outfielder
in whose direction the ball is traveling (it could be any one of them,
from left center field to straightway right), and as you wait for him
to trot in to haul the lazy fly in, or at worst camp under it in place
to make the catch, instead you see the outfielder jog back toward the
fence, basically a courtesy gesture as the mis-hit ball carries over
the wall to keep the last several Hamilton shots company.

And then there are the pitches that Hamilton squares up on, the ones that cause you, involuntarily, to issue a “Whoaaaaa
in unison with your three-and-a-half-year-old son, with the same
reaction of equal parts awe, adrenaline, and disbelief.  The ones on
which the outfielders stand as motionless and unneeded as they do on
the requisite bunts that the Rangers’ penciled number two hitter drops
(and drops well) at the start of his rounds.

David Murphy (as I’d hoped) and Marlon Byrd,
hitting in sequence with Hamilton, had the misfortune of having what
were absolutely impressive BP sessions of their own look unjustly
pedestrian in comparison to their teammate’s, like watching Terrence
Newman and Terrell Owens run a 40 alongside Deion Sanders.

The
Hamilton swing is so devoid of effort, it makes no sense.  You’ve seen
the scout’s comment about the “flat-out, God-given gasoline” that comes
effortlessly out of Neftali Feliz’s arm.  Josh Hamilton endows his
baseball bat with a flat-out, God-given thunderstorm.  A nearly silent
thunderstorm, somehow.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

1 Comment

Hi Jamey! I just got back form spring training this weekend, and there IS something absolutely amazing about watching Josh, isn’t there? He has a confidence and command (and yet not cockiness) as he walks to the plate that is undescribeable. It’s there when he’s on base as well! I’m on the Josh bandwagon for sure!

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