Just a quick break from my blogs about Russia, because I head about this story originally on PTI and I felt the need to comment on it. Mostly because of what has been said. I will preface this blog with (1) I’m Catholic, (2) I am a Rangers fan, (3) I’m a fan of Josh Hamilton, and (4) I’m offended by what some other people have written about this sad situation.
For those who don’t follow sports, particularly baseball, Josh Hamilton is the former number one overall first round draft pick that is an amazingly talented baseball player, who several years ago had a lot of trouble with drugs (specifically cocaine) and alcohol. He was actually banned by Major League Baseball (MLB), the governing body of professional baseball in the US, for three years. The Texas Rangers traded for him, and there were plenty of snickers and doubts. He credits his turn around to his Christian faith and his family. He’s gone from first rounder to the sad story of all the talent in the world but nothing to redeemed All-Star during his brief professional careet. He has used his story to help inspire those current struggling and those recovering as a story of hope that the bottom isn’t the end.
During the baseball winter break, he had a relapse and drank to excess in Arizona, twelve photos were taken of him in not so positive situations. The day after it happened, he told his wife, the Rangers organization, and others in his support system. This past weekend, the pictures surfaced on a website and he has publically apologized for his lapse in January.
Various fans and sports pundits have jumped on the issue, some saying that he’s a hypocrite, some applauding his honesty, some hoping for his continuing recovery, some saying that he’s an even bigger sign of hope than before, some saying that he’s less than he was, some saying that baseball’s pressure is too much, etc. Some fans going as far as attacking him and his wife, their religion, and even their marriage.
The only things that I can say is that one, he’s just a baseball player and we’re just fans, the probability of us actually knowning Josh Hamilton, as in being friends with him, are very slim. I’m not saying that he’s unsociable, but that fans and athletes are in two different circles and you very rarely leave those circles to become friends with one another. Two, he is and always will be a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, he will always be tempted and he will always need to fight for his soberiety, it doesn’t get necessarily easier or better as time moves on as it’s just been shown. Three, he’s taken responsibility for his actions, yes there is the argument that he should have chosen another restaurant to eat at or called someone from his support group when he was tempted, but unlike other athletes and public figures that I could name but won’t waste anyone’s time, he did take full responsibility for what he did. Four, he made a public apology and you could argue that he didn’t need to because he had taken the responsibility early on and talk to his wife and his employers. Five, MLB and the Rangers have not forbidden alcohol and he’s tested three times a week, so obviously his didn’t do anything more than drink. Six, why would you ever attack his wife, his beliefs, or his marriage? None of us are perfect and none of those have anything to do with his decisions, but rather are affected by his actions. Seven, there are more important things to worry about, the ridiculously expensive and unaffordable national health care proposal, lack of good teachers, soaring educational costs, the continuing breakdown of the family, teenage pregnancy, homelessness, there isn’t really any social security in the States, etc.
And I’ve vented and back to the regularly scheduled blogs…