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On Wednesday, "First Take" brought in special guest Tony La Russa to discuss long-term deals in baseball. The Rangers have a decision to make about Josh Hamilton, and potentially could lock him up for many years to come. La Russa said he wouldn't give more than a five- or six-year deal to a player of any caliber, citing the Angels' 10-year deal with Albert Pujols as one that was not worth the risk. Both Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless agreed. What's your take?

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Nolan Ryan can say pretty much whatever he wants when he's talking about baseball, and evidently he thinks Josh Hamilton gives away too many at-bats. He might have a point -- Hamilton's having a good season, but his .290/.357/.592 line could use a lot more in the "getting-on-base" department. This could be just a motivational tool by Ryan, who no doubt has bad memories of his otherwise-excellent team losing its edge in the last minute in the 2011 World Series. Is he right?

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The Baseball Project, a collection of musicians united by their love of the game, wrote a song called "Harvey Haddix" that included the lyric, "Now in history/only 17/have thrown a perfect game." That was back in 2008. Were they to sing it today, they'd have to update it to 22, including Matt Cain, who seriously threw the second perfect game of the season on Wednesday night. This is, quite frankly, absurd. Perfect games are supposed to be events that happen once a decade, not once a month. It has gotten to the point that we're yawning at mere one-hitters and barely acknowledging no-nos. What's next -- 27 pitches, 27 groundouts? Or maybe 27 strikeouts on 81 pitches? There are only so many songwriting hours in the day.


Is this a sign?

There have been gaps of whole decades in between perfect games, but Matt Cain barely waited at all after Philip Humber's perfecto.

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What do you make of the relatively large number of perfect games thrown in the past few years?

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    24%
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    76%

Discuss (Total votes: 38,365)


Who'd be more nervous?

Third baseman Joaquin Arias stumbled a bit while fielding the final out. It's a credit to him that his long throw didn't end up in the stands.

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Who do you think would be more nervous in attempting to make the final out of a perfect game?

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    74%
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    26%

Discuss (Total votes: 40,478)


Which would rather you see?

Josh Hamilton hit four home runs in a game this year, a feat that is actually rarer than a perfect game, especially after this absurd outburst.

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Which would you rather see in person?

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    36%
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    12%
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    52%

Discuss (Total votes: 39,521)

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Whether Josh Hamilton or Matt Kemp is the better long-term investment, well, that's up for debate. Skip Bayless is taking Hamilton as the right here, right now player, but would rather have Kemp for the future. Stephen A. Smith says Kemp is a no-brainer when it comes to who will produce the bigger numbers over the course of their careers. Which player would you put your faith in?

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Did any of you have Josh Hamilton on your fantasy teams last night? Congratulations -- you can take the rest of the week off. No need to worry about matchups or injuries or any of that. Hamilton gave you (and the Rangers) a week's worth of production with a four-homer game in Baltimore on Tuesday night. Hamilton is the first American League player to go 5-for-5 with four home runs in a game, and the first to total 18 bases in one contest. He actually came close to hitting five homers, but he narrowly missed a hanging curveball in his third at-bat. That would have been unprecedented -- no major leaguer has reached the five-homer plateau in a game.


Hamilton the MVP?

Hamilton is leading in all kinds of offensive categories. Hilariously, he has more home runs this season (14) than the entire San Diego Padres roster (12).

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Will Josh Hamilton win the AL MVP award this season?

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    66%
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    34%

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Home run total?

Hamilton's career high in home runs is 32; he did that in 2008 and 2010. Right now, he's almost halfway there ... and May has just started.

SportsNation

How many home runs will Josh Hamilton (14 HRs) hit this season?

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    3%
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    32%
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    51%
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    14%

Discuss (Total votes: 59,417)


Hamilton or Humber?

Four-homer games are slightly rarer than perfect games, although there's no doubt that a perfecto carries with it a significantly higher element of tension.

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Which was more impressive?

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    72%
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    28%

Discuss (Total votes: 159,613)


Stay in Texas?

Hamilton seems to enjoy it in Texas, but he's a free agent after this season, and bidding for his services will likely be fierce.

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Where will Josh Hamilton be playing at the start of next season?

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    80%
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    20%

Discuss (Total votes: 54,509)

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