As a Texas Rangers fan this story hits too close to home. Most of you have heard Josh Hamilton’s story. He was a number one draft pick back in 1999, but just a couple of years later he suffered an injury and started using drugs. He was suspended for violating the drug policy put in place by MLB.
He made several attempts to make his way back but the addiction kept getting the best of him. Hamilton didn’t play baseball at all for a two year period. He never gave up though and finally made his MLB debut in 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds.
After the 2007 season Hamilton was traded to the Texas Rangers and things took off. In 2008 he was named to the American League All Star Team, and who could forget his Home Run Derby performance? A truly amazing performance. Things were looking up for Hamilton and it looked like his life was back on the right track. However, in early 2009 he had a little slip up. He went to a bar in Arizona and got plastered. You can see the pictures from that night down below…
He bounced back from that, though. He went on to help the Texas Rangers go to the World Series in 2010 and 2011. Hamilton had been clean from alcohol and drugs since that 2009 incident, but this past Monday he suffered another setback. Hamilton went to a local bar in Arlington and had a few too many drinks. It’s even being reported that teammate Ian Kinsler went to the bar in an effort to bring Hamilton home.
A close source told The Daily Fix that they were at the bar that night and saw Hamilton flirting with girls, letting them touch his ass and that it “made them lose a lot of respect for him.”
It’s a very unfortunate situation. Hamilton has been so open about his struggles that you almost feel like you know him. You feel like you are part of his family, you feel betrayed and hurt. But, is that a fair reaction? He is not a superhero. He doesn’t owe us anything, so why should we care so much? Josh Hamilton has a disease. Everyday is a struggle for him. Normal people go out and drive by an ice cream shop and think, “I really want an ice cream cone, but I really don’t need one” That’s our big temptation…an ice cream cone.
Josh Hamilton drives past a bar and wants to jump out of the car and drink ‘til he passes out. He has said multiple times that he fights the urge to do drugs again every single day. Josh Hamilton has to live a very sheltered life. His addiction ended up getting the best of him Monday, so what? Are we all supposed to despise him now? No, mistakes are going to happen. Just look at it from a baseball perspective.
You could be having the worst game of your career. You made a few errors in the outfield, struck out three times and haven’t helped your team at all. But guess what? It’s the bottom of the ninth, your team is down by 1 and there is runner on first base. You get your pitch and you hit a walk-off home run, and as you are rounding third base you see your entire team waiting at home plate to jump all over you.
Hamilton is going to make a few errors, but as long as he continues to try his best there will always be people there ready to congratulate him as he rounds third base.
Home plate is where Hamilton needs to stay.