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Rangers stick by fans after Hamilton's comments

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton caused a minor stir when he gave an interview to a Dallas television station and said that the Dallas-Fort Worth area is not a "true" baseball town.

Hamilton told KTVT Channel 11 that, "It's one of those things where Texas, especially Dallas, has always been a football town. So the good with the bad is they're supportive, but they also got a little spoiled, at the same time, pretty quickly. You can understand like a really true, true baseball town -- and there are true baseball fans in Texas -- but it's not a true baseball town."

Hamilton elaborated on his comments to Angels reporters after Monday's workout.

"I told them on camera -- I said there's true baseball fans and then there's others that's not," Hamilton said. "I said the ones that are true baseball fans won't boo when I come back, and the ones that are not, will. It's just like last year, when I got booed after going 2-for-4 in a game, driving in a couple runs, and I struck out the other two times. You understand the Yankees, Boston, Cubs, Phillies -- baseball towns. If they were doing that, that's one thing.

"It's not saying I don't still appreciate them, and thank you for cheering for me and all that. But reality's reality. I think I've always spoken the truth in what I said and not beat around the bush. But I loved my time there."

The Rangers, when informed of Hamilton's comments, did not get too worked up over what he said.

"There were 3.5 million fans that came through the turnstiles," manager Ron Washington said. "That answers it right there, but I have no comment on Josh's comment."

"We've had an absolutely electric environment to where I think visiting teams coming to play us in Arlington probably view it as hostile a place as there is in baseball, and that definitely plays to our advantage," outfielder David Murphy said. "I definitely love the way that the fans have come out and supported us. The last few summers have been extremely hot. It's going to be tough for me to come watch a baseball game when it's 110 degrees out or 105 degrees out. I really appreciate the way they've supported us, especially through all the heat."

The Rangers play the Angels in their home opener on April 5 at the Ballpark in Arlington.