ARLINGTON -- Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan was the latest to chime in on Josh Hamilton's struggles at the plate, saying on his weekly radio show that Hamilton's at-bats aren't "very impressive," and he doesn't seem to be locked in at the plate. Hamilton said he understands Ryan's frustrations and he feels the same way.
"I love and respect Nolan to death," Hamilton said on Wednesday. "He's a competitor. He's still a competitor. He was a big-time competitor when he played. I believe he cares so much for us as players, almost like a grandfather would. When he sees us not perform and not do the things we need to do, it frustrates him.
"I understand what frustrates him. I can't blame him for anything. I'm just going to do what I can do and work on what I can work on, go up there and try to be a little more focused and do the best I can. It doesn't bother me that he expresses his opinions."
Hamilton entered Wednesday hitting .135 (7-for-52) with two home runs over his last 14 games to drop his batting average to a season-low .290. He is hitless in his last 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position. He drove in a run on Tuesday night with a weak ground ball, but reacted in frustration by throwing his helmet in the dugout.
"I just feel out of sorts mentally," Hamilton said. "You get in trouble when you start thinking about stuff. It's the mental aspect of it more than the physical aspect of it. That's just where I am right now."
Hamilton said it all comes down to good pitch selection and getting in a good hitting position.
"When I'm swinging at pitches out of the zone and hitting them, it's not a big deal," Hamilton said. "But when I'm swinging at pitches out of the zone and I'm missing them, it's a big deal. I'm focusing on bringing the pitchers back to having to throw me strikes, or at least something close enough that I can do something with it.
"They all know they can throw me questionable pitches and, more than likely, I'll swing at them. When I'm going good, they can do that and I'll get hits. When I'm not going good, I get myself out."