T.J. SIMERS

Josh Hamilton smiles, but he doesn't care what fans think

The Angels' $125-million slugger, a disappointment at the plate so far, says he puts God first, with results taken out of the equation.

HOUSTON — Uh-oh, we've got another smiler.

This catches on and we won't have any athletes around town who appear as if they give a rip.

Dwight Howard, meet Josh Hamilton.

"I've had people screaming at me when I'm at the plate, 'Wipe that smile off your face,''' said the Angels bust. "If I'm not smiling, you don't want me out there. I want to play the game how I've grown up my whole life playing it, and that's with a smile. You do your best when you're relaxed.''

Hamilton gets any more relaxed and he really will be an automatic out. He stands casually in the batter's box holding his bat like he's waiting for the next slow-pitch softball to arrive.

At least Howard works up a sweat.

Worse yet, and you would hope there is a competitor brewing down deep there, Hamilton comes across like the poster child for every athlete who knows he has guaranteed money coming.

It's never good when the fans seem to care more than the guys competing to win or lose.

Meet your 2013 Angels.

"I know this is going to sound bad, and you can spin it whatever way you want, but when I was able to take the result part of the game out of it I learned something,'' Hamilton said.

"I know the game is based on results and the world wants to see results. But if I can take that out of the equation, play hard and prepare to the best of my abilities, the results are going to be there.''

He's right; it sounds bad.

"I don't live day to day by those results, which allows me to live a less stressful life,'' he said.

I would hope getting paid $125 million over the next five years on top of the $24 million he received the last two seasons with Texas would take all the stress out of life.

I'll never know. But I do wonder why he's not more thankful. We talked before Wednesday's game and I reminded him how inept he has been in driving the ball out of the park the opposite way. And I suggested he do better.

An hour or so later he homered, but before Thursday's game he refused to say thank you.

"I'll need to do it again,'' he said, as if he did it himself in the first place.

Then he went out and hit another home run, two homers in two days with Page 2's help after having two in the first 31 games.

I appreciate the offer, which I'm sure will be forthcoming, but I have no desire to replace Mike Scioscia.

I just found a way to make Hamilton care enough to prove himself after he repeatedly told me, "You cannot push my buttons.''

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