Did the Devil Make Josh Hamilton Drink?

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Not only has Josh Hamilton’s fall from the wagon into drinking fueled sadness, it’s also spurred horrific, intentionally sappy and outright bad writing.

Stuff like “Hamilton faltered in his quest to stay sober” and references to “the reemergence of Hamilton’s demons” make it sound like it’s not his fault that he started drinking—where he had to know he’d get caught—again.

Whose fault is it then?

Jesus saved him, is it the Devil who sent Hamilton into that bar and tempted him with alcohol?

Don’t go to bars. It’s not difficult.

On one side we have the hard-liners who talk of personal responsibility and for whom one strike is out. On the other, there are the excuse-makers who are calling Hamilton’s drinking a disease. In the middle there are those who couldn’t care less about Josh Hamilton and are using this opportunity to say, “look what great writers we are” when they’re anything but.

I don’t want to hear or read it.

Hamilton is an addict. Addicts are self-destructive. It’s not my responsibility to reason why. It just is. For a player who almost ruined his life and career and resurrected it into becoming an MVP and inspiration because of his recovery, Hamilton has been remarkably conscious of his image. He’s used his Christianity as a shield to protect himself from his stumbles and his “recovery” as the basis to spread the gospel and have books ghostwritten to tell his story while presenting himself as a beacon of what’s possible.

Now the departure from the Rangers’ organization of his longtime friend and sponsor Johnny Narron was mentioned—not overtly blamed, but mentioned—as part of Hamilton’s fall off the wagon.

Don’t blame Narron; don’t blame demons; don’t blame alcohol; don’t blame anyone other than Josh Hamilton because that’s where the responsibility lies.

Who knows how often Hamilton has imbibed privately? What are the odds that he’s still doing things he shouldn’t be doing and has been feted for overcoming?

I’d be shocked if he hasn’t been smoking pot and drinking privately.

I’d be shocked if the Rangers didn’t know about it.

It’s in the realm of absurdity as “Ron Washington only used cocaine that one time” to think that Hamilton’s drinking episodes were limited to 2009 when he was photographed partying with girls in an Arizona bar and this latest incident.

You can believe it or not believe it, but think logically for a second.

It’s preposterous.

Hamilton is a free agent at the end of the year and if he didn’t have this history, he’d be in line for a contract that probably wouldn’t reach the numbers of Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, but would be similar to what Jayson Werth got from the Nationals a year ago.

Now the Rangers would be stupid to even engage in extension talks with him, let alone hand him a guaranteed $120+ million.

Regardless of the smug, self-indulgent phrase-turns of the mainstream media, it’s not a story of triumph, tragedy or a life lesson in adversity.

He shouldn’t drink and he drank. He did so publicly.

I’m more offended than sad that someone of Hamilton’s natural talent is wasting it, but that’s secondary to reality.

He’s someone who should not have been in a bar in the first place, still has major issues and is a split-second away from reverting to his prior addictions.

He has no one to blame but himself. Not Jesus; not the Devil; not Johnny Narron; not anyone other than Josh Hamilton.

If teams are smart, they’ll steer clear of any long-term commitment to him because he can’t be trusted.

That’s not cynicism. That’s truth. Believe it or don’t.



2 thoughts on “Did the Devil Make Josh Hamilton Drink?

  1. I know what you’re saying, and that you probably don’t mean to be flippant, but for someone like Hamilton — someone who has the disease of addiction — staying out of bars is hard.

    At the same time, with the myriad resources he has, it should be easier for him than it would be for the average addict on the street. My beef with this whole thing is how the media lusts after this same tired story. I could care less. Does the guy hit bombs? Yes. Is he entertaining as a baseball player? Hell yes. Is his Jesus talk as nauseating as the beat writers’ headlines about him? Absolutely.

    He’s human. He’s also delusional. I just want to watch him play baseball. I could really care less about all the rest anymore and if he’s too stupid to understand that he holds the key to his own fate then he doesn’t deserve chance after chance after chance.

    I will now step of my soap box.

    1. The perceived flippancy probably stems from the absence of surprise that this happened. As the day wore on, I thought about Tim Tebow and how he’s living according to that which he preaches—like it or not—and the way he’s ridiculed for it and some are hoping he gets caught in a hotel with three women and a mound of cocaine while Hamilton is getting a relentless pass from the fans and the media. The repeated references to the loss of Johnny Narron as his sponsor and the cryptic “family problem” are almost like an excuse for him to have gone and had a few drinks and I’m sick of it.

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