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Hamilton out 6-8 weeks with torn thumb ligament

Angels' Hamilton Out 6-8 Weeks

SEATTLE (AP) -- Josh Hamilton's attempt to beat out an infield grounder with a headfirst slide into first base landed him on the bench for up to two months.

The 2010 AL MVP was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday by the Los Angeles Angels with a torn ligament in his left thumb. He was hurt trying to hustle down the line and beat out a grounder in the seventh inning of Tuesday night's loss to Seattle. Hamilton was thrown out, but the consequences of his decision ended up being far greater.

"The news sucks. Anytime you play and you're playing hard and having fun, the last thing you want to do is do something that is going to cause you to miss time and maybe hurt your team in the long run," Hamilton said. "If I could see the future, obviously, I wouldn't do it."

Los Angeles said an MRI Wednesday revealed a complete tear of the thumb's ulnar collateral ligament. After initially saying hand and wrist specialist Dr. Steven Shin would operate at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedics in Los Angeles, the Angels said Hamilton will be examined by Shin on Friday to determine whether surgery is needed.

Hamilton was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and outfielder J.B. Shuck was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake. Hamilton said he believed it was just a jammed thumb, but when he tried throwing in the outfield between innings he knew something might be wrong.

Hamilton told manager Mike Scioscia to have someone pinch hit for him in the ninth. Ian Stewart batted for Hamilton and struck out with the potential tying run on base in a 5-3 loss.

"It's definitely unfortunate but I think as a team you have to be able to absorb and be deep enough to absorb injuries to players and Josh is a special talent who is off to a great start for us. We'll do our best to fill that void," Scioscia said. "Over the years, we've had a lot of our key players miss significant time, but we've been able to absorb it and move on. That's what we have to focus on doing now for the next six, eight weeks, whatever the time frame is going to end up being."

Scioscia said the Angels lineup could see mixing and matching while Hamilton is out. Collin Cowgill was in the lineup in left field and leading off, with Kole Calhoun dropped to sixth in the order and Howie Kendrick moved up to Hamilton's usual No. 5 slot.

A five-time All-Star, Hamilton has struggled since signing a $125 million, five-year contract with the Angels before the 2013 season. He hit a career-low .250 last year with 21 homers and 79 RBIs, his poorest power numbers since 2009. He was batting .207 with 25 RBIs through June 23, then hit .289 with 54 RBIs during the rest of the season.

Hamilton strained a calf muscle during a baserunning drill on Feb. 25 and didn't play in his first spring training game until March 17. He is hitting .444 with two homers and six RBIs in 27 at-bats this season.

Hamilton believes he can still keep his timing down with his swing even while he's sidelined.

"Disappointing in general that you've got to miss some time, because as a player you prepare the whole offseason to come in and do what you can to help contribute to your team winning ballgames," he said. "That's the most disappointing part of the injury."

The injury rekindled the debate about sliding into first base. Hamilton wasn't the only player to make that choice in Tuesday's game. Seattle's Michael Saunders had an awkward slide into first base running out a ground ball.

"It's just part of who I am. I've done that a lot," Hamilton said. "Who knows if I will ever do that again?"

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JIMMY April 10 2014 at 9:55 AM

Never understand why anyone would slide into first.

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1 reply
ggblank1603 JIMMY April 10 2014 at 10:26 AM

To avoid a tag

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2 replies
monkutare1 ggblank1603 April 10 2014 at 1:57 PM

The ONLY time to slide into first is to avoid a tag. Running through the bag is faster.

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ckelsonsr ggblank1603 April 10 2014 at 2:40 PM

but you dont have to tag the runner going to first so that doesnt make sense, should just be running as fast as he can

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JL Myers April 10 2014 at 9:32 AM

The 'only' good thing about sliding head first at 1st used to be that it messed with the ump and could sometime get you the safe call. But now with instant replay and the "fact" that it slows you down the only reason would be to avoid a tag on an errant throw and a sweep tag attempt by the 1st baseman. And as Hamilton showed it might not be worth it then. Especially not if you are an old outrageously paid superstar who has finally started hitting his weight.

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jdonoh4 April 10 2014 at 2:19 PM

I guess that's what you get for playing hard. At least the effort was there. I remember Manny Ramirez jogging to 1st on some of his grounders when he played for the Red Sox. It was infuriating!

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1 reply
Don Murphy jdonoh4 April 10 2014 at 2:53 PM

Spin it however you choose and lamely offer whatever alternative scapegoat you choose (Manny has zero to do with this discussion, sorry), but knocking yourself out for two months because of a head-first slide into first base is just the height of stupidity.

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1 reply
jdonoh4 Don Murphy April 10 2014 at 3:27 PM

I'm not spinning anything. I'm giving an example of the total opposite. By the way, I'm not a Manny hater. He's one of the reasons the Bosox were World Champs in '04 & '07. I highly doubt that Hamilton planned on getting injured. You sound like a Monday morning quarterback. Tell us about your career as a pro athlete. Yeah, I thought so. You're more lame than me.

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filliperogers April 10 2014 at 9:24 AM

Yep another einstein just like yasiel puig( the dodger rookie) did the same thing and got the same result, and it is a proven fact you are actually slowed down once you leave your feet. Now the angel fans and dodger fans shake their heads at the stupidity of their actions.

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snoopski April 10 2014 at 3:18 PM

the banner at the bottom of the video totally obscures the view...

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barngirrl April 10 2014 at 4:22 AM

I'm confused - what do you need your left thumb for if you are right-handed in baseball? Michael Cooper played with a friggin' broken ANKLE, for Godssake.

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3 replies
REDTAG April 10 2014 at 4:04 AM

Good .

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FarWestern April 10 2014 at 4:16 AM

Glad the Angels took Mr. Expensive from the Texas Rangers.

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chuck April 10 2014 at 6:36 AM

dumb ass

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ceepee3 April 10 2014 at 9:50 AM

They should not pay him for those 6 to 8 weeks.

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1 reply
Happypoolprune ceepee3 April 10 2014 at 1:19 PM

Fine, maybe we should take away workmans comp if you get hurt on the job. duh!

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