Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ex-Ranger's family endures taunts in Texas

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton says his wife had to call for security before his first game against the Texas Rangers because fans of his former team were shouting obscenities and personal insults at his family.

The All-Star slugger said Saturday that security guards stayed near his wife, Katie, and their children, and there weren't any major incidents during Friday's game.

"She ended up calling security just because people are being ugly," said Hamilton, who was 0 for 4 in the Angels' 3-2 loss. "Not necessarily the booing and stuff, but inappropriate with kids around -- and that was before the game even started."

Rangers spokesman John Blake says the Angels had requested extra security near the Hamiltons, and there were no ejections after Katie Hamilton asked for help.

Hamilton said his family "absolutely" planned to attend the remaining two games, and Blake said they would be more isolated in a suite. Blake said a suite wasn't available for the Rangers' sold-out home opener.

Major League Baseball suspended Hamilton for more than three years for drug and alcohol use while he was in the Tampa Bay organization. He also had a couple of relapses with the Rangers.

The 2010 AL MVP said he heard plenty of insults from the stands Friday, including "crackhead" references like he used to get at Yankee Stadium in his first season with the Rangers five years ago.

"It's cool to get ragged on about normal things," Hamilton said. "But when you get a little swearing and jawing back at Katie and saying inappropriate things, it's a little different story."

Hamilton said his four daughters were unaffected by the day's events.

"They kissed me and hugged me and said, 'Good game,"' Hamilton said. "They went on about playing with their little friends they had over. I went out and jumped on the trampoline with them. So it was like any other game coming home."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 7, 2013 B11

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