Hamilton downplays first matchup with Halos

Rangers slugger not seeking any closure, while Angels have also moved on since trade

Hamilton downplays first matchup with Halos

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said he saw "nothing significant" about Friday's 8-2 loss to the Angels, other than it was his third start since coming off the disabled list.

For others, the significance is this is the first time that Hamilton has faced the Angels since they traded him to the Rangers on April 27. Any closure, Hamilton said, came when the trade went down two months ago.

"For me, it's just like playing against the Angels when I played with Texas before I went to the Angels," Hamilton said before hitting a double in three at-bats. "You do everything you can to try to beat them. I don't think about the Angels at night when I sleep.

"There's no soul searching or closure for me. It's over. I've moved on. I'm in Texas now. I've got a great group of guys here. I had a great group of guys in Anaheim. You don't look back, you just move forward."

Any hard feelings on the Angels part likely come from somebody other than the players. But the Angels have had enough to deal with this week with general manager Jerry Dipoto stepping down. Facing Hamilton for the first time with the Rangers doesn't appear to be high on anybody's concerns.

Sullivan on the Hamilton trade

"To be honest with you, we haven't really thought about Josh much," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We've got a lot of things that we're trying to deal with as far as getting better on the field. It hasn't really been a topic of conversation. Really, Josh is more a Ranger than anything else. We faced him for five years, so I don't think it's going to be anything different.

"We've got enough on our plate, and that's what we're concentrating on."

Scioscia said earlier this week that Hamilton still needed to thank his former teammates for supporting him as well as reach out to Angels owner Arte Moreno "and let Arte know that maybe some of the things [Hamilton] did weren't what he signed up to do."

The Angels traded Hamilton after an offseason that included shoulder surgery and a self-reported substance abuse relapse.

Hamilton said he hasn't read anything that his former manager said this week.

"Not one thing," Hamilton said. "That's how I like to keep it. Whether things are said or digs are made, whatever, if I don't look and read or watch them on TV, then I don't have to worry about responding to it. So we're good on that fact."

Hamilton also made it clear that he doesn't owe the Angels anything.

"No, I gave them to the best of my ability, worked as hard as I could to try to be the player I was in Texas, in Anaheim," Hamilton said. "They all knew that. They saw the work I put in. Stuck with needles and cortisone shots and everything else to go out there and play. I gave them what I had when I was there."

Hamilton has also not spoken with Moreno.

"When I was there, when I was struggling and working my butt off to get better, I asked multiple times [club president] John Carpino and Jerry Dipoto if I could meet with Arte and talk to him to let him know I'm working hard," Hamilton said. "Each time, denied. They said they would pass along the message. I take it as they passed along the message. If they didn't, it's on them but I put it out there."

Hamilton does stay in touch with former Angels teammates, mostly through text messaging. One of those is pitcher C.J. Wilson, who was Hamilton's teammate on both the Rangers and the Angels.

"He met with some of us when we were in Houston earlier this year," Wilson said. "All I wanted was an explanation of his side of the story. We didn't hear a lot of explanation. All we heard was speculation. And I wanted to know what was going on with him personally because he's my friend. Other than that, I don't feel like he owes me anything personally."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.