MLB Free Agency: Why Josh Hamilton Should Want to Play for the Milwaukee Brewers
General manager Doug Melvin and his Brewers are seriously considering becoming involved in the bidding war for the superstar free agent.
The former Texas Rangers outfielder is the ultimate pure hitter with his jaw-dropping swing that would make Babe Ruth jealous. He holds a career batting average of .304, with 161 home runs and a .549 slugging percentage that ranks 28th in MLB history. A colossal payday is sure to be on his horizon.
According to reports, Hamilton is seeking a seven-year deal worth $175 million. Unless Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has been short-changing us all these years and has millions stashed away, Milwaukee has no chance of feeding him an offer of that magnitude.
Nonetheless, Hamilton's top preference should undoubtedly be Milwaukee.
Making a decision on where to play specifically based on money is not the right move for the 31-year-old. Rolling around in mountains of money sure would be fun, but it is not in his best interest. Numerous other factors should play a role in his decision-making.
With god-like strength, Hamilton's power numbers would erupt at Miller Park. His swing is already so flawless and effortless. Miller Park would just shine a brighter light on his talents.
Still, a park that warms to hitters isn't enough for Hamilton to yearn for Milwaukee.
Being surrounded with a plethora of dynamic hitters should be enough to get Hamilton's attention, though. He would be inserted into a lineup that had the National League's top offense in 2012. No matter where Hamilton hit in the order, he would be protected by the big bats of Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart.
The Crew would quickly become the most high-powered and dangerous offense in baseball, and home runs would shoot out of Miller Park like rockets. What more could Hamilton ask for?
The Brewers are a small-market team and accumulate anything but extravagant amounts of attention. ESPN does not beseech for interviews with players and the clubhouse is never swarming with reporters. Unless, of course, Braun fails a drug test. But that's a whole different story.
Pressure destroys athletes. It paralyzed Alex Rodriguez in this year's postseason and has haunted Justin Verlander in his two World Series appearances. In Milwaukee, the only pressure that exists is from die-hard fans.
The Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel isn't a hardcore and savage newspaper like the New York Post or the Boston Globe, so Hamilton wouldn't have to worry about his name being dragged through the mud.
With the low-key pressure that Milwaukee offers, Hamilton's focus would be at its best which would sharpen his all-around game.
Above all else, the Brewers possess a trump card over every team in baseball—Johnny Narron.
Narron, currently Milwaukee's hitting coach, was hired by the Rangers prior to the 2008 season to mainly serve as a mentor to Hamilton. He had been with Hamilton in Cincinnati and the Rangers felt it was pertinent to bring him on board.
Narron provided Hamilton with a strong support system and inserted stability into his personal life. Now, Narron could be the reason his long-time friend comes to Miltown.
Did Milwaukee pry Narron away from Texas in 2011 because they felt he had the potential to be a great hitting coach or were the Brewers planning for the 2012 offseason? Did they look that far into the future and hire Narron because of his link to Hamilton?
Diabolical plans aside, the Brewers cannot financially compete with the big-market teams and won't be able to give Hamilton the money he seeks. Instead, they can offer him a great ballpark to hit in, a laid-back environment and maybe the most important piece of the puzzle, his former mentor.
It's only a matter of time before Hamilton puts pen to paper and inks with a new team. If his greed and thirst for zeroes at the end of his check is calmed, he will be wearing a Brewers uniform come March.
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