On the same night Josh Hamilton smashed two home runs against the Angels he also dove headlong into first base just as many times. The game last Friday represented a good snapshot of why Hamilton is the most compelling player in baseball today: he takes your breath away, whether admiring his talent or fearing he can't hold up.
The Texas Rangers' outfielder is a modern day Mickey Mantle, a supreme combination of power and speed with an underlying fragility caused by injuries and personal demons. How good he can be is only a matter of how long he can hold up.
"We've tried to get him to stop," teammate Michael Young said of Hamilton's ill-advised dives into first base. "But that's Josh. He doesn't know any other way, so we've come to live with it. I said it when he got here in 2008 and it's true today: He's the most talented player in the game. It's not like what he's doing now is a fluke. I hate to say this, but I don't even look at this as a hot streak. This is just what he's capable of."