TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton has caught some heat from a Texas fan base that's still fresh off seeing him slump through the second half and sign with the division-rival Angels the ensuing offseason.
In a Sunday TV interview with CBS-11 in Dallas/Fort Worth, the former Rangers outfielder said: "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 those comments after Monday's workout at Angels camp.
"I said there's true baseball fans and then there's others that's not. 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. But the Rangers ... "
Hamilton added that by "spoiled," he didn't mean fans were spoiled by his individual play -- more so the entire team, which reached the World Series for the first time in the franchise's 38-year history in Texas in 2010, then got there again the following season.
"It's not saying I don't still appreciate them, and thank you for cheering for me and all that," Hamilton said. "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."
"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."
Hamilton had a great run in Texas, starting five straight All-Star Games, reaching two World Series and establishing himself as one of the game's best outfielders by batting .305 with 142 homers and 506 RBIs from 2008-12.
But it didn't end pretty.
Hamilton slumped mightily in the second half last season, batting .259 and striking out 86 times in 69 games. In the final regular-season game, which the Rangers lost, costing them an American League West division they led by five games with nine to play, Hamilton dropped a routine fly ball in Oakland. Then, after going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts while losing the Wild Card game to the Orioles, he was booed by the home fans.
Hamilton will return to Texas on April 5, when the Angels travel to Rangers Ballpark for their second series of the season.
"We had a good team [in Texas], and they still have a good team," Hamilton said. "But we did some things that had never been done before in Texas, so obviously they want to keep doing those things. They have young guys coming up and they're going to have to get it done."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. MLB.com reporter T.R. Sullivan contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.