Texas Rangers: Josh Hamilton Sends Message with 4-Homer Game

Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIMay 8, 2012

Josh Hamilton became the 16th player ever to hit four home runs in a single game.
Josh Hamilton became the 16th player ever to hit four home runs in a single game.Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

At the rate Josh Hamilton started this season, you just knew that he was bound to do something special at some point in this season.

Well, wait no more for that special moment.

Hamilton became the 16th man in baseball history to blast four home runs in a single game, giving him a major league leading 14 on the year, as the Texas Rangers seem to have again found their groove. By a score of 10-3, they won their third game in a row and guaranteed a split with the Baltimore Orioles.

Everyone knew that Hamilton was going to be looking for some money either this year or next, as he's currently in the final year of his contract, and the former American League MVP has shown early on that he's deserving of every dollar that he gets.

So I sincerely hope that Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan have taken notice of what he's done.

It's understandable that you don't want to take a chance on someone who has dealt with a good number of injuries the last three years, and it's also understandable that if Hamilton were to get hurt again, the Rangers' front office would rather wait until after the season to pay him.

Well, it doesn't matter if he gets the money now, before the trade deadline or even after the season. If he wins another MVP award this year, Daniels and Ryan better be prepared to open up the checkbooks and give him any amount he wants. Because at this point so far, he's earned every penny, and then some.

It's been a while since baseball fans have seen this kind of start by anyone, and he's producing at an even or better rate than Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Matt Kemp. Hamilton's average of .406 ties the league lead with Kemp, but 14 home runs and 34 RBI put him at the top.

Not to mention, Hamilton has played three less games than Kemp. It's a tossup as to who the best player in baseball is, so I'll let you all handle that debate.

But staying with the American League, Hamilton also sent a message to the AL in that he's the undisputed favorite right now for the MVP, and every AL pitcher should be very cautious as to how they approach him.

Not even in his MVP season a couple of years ago did Hamilton get off to a start like he's on right now. He was always driving in runs with ease, but his power has been fine-tuned better than ever before and he's making it look easy at the plate.

Obviously, he's not going to keep up with the batting average, and he's going to have to cool off sooner or later for a stretch during the summer. But if he keeps up with the way he is, it'll be a few months before he gets another MVP trophy, and it'll only be a matter of time before Hamilton gets his pay day.

The Rangers are a dangerous contender when everyone's on point, producing on offense and pitching effectively.

And they're a deadly threat to any team in the league if Josh Hamilton is playing the way he's playing right now.

But if there's anyone who can make a giant billboard outside of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, please put a picture of Hamilton on it with just three words in bold red letters:

Pay the man.