Blog Entry

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

Posted on: February 3, 2012 3:02 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 9:23 pm
The Rangers have hired a new "accountability coach'' for Josh Hamilton, who will try to make sure what happened Monday never happens again. Their heart is in the right place. And so is his.

Hamilton certainly did not soft sell his second drinking incident since becoming a Ranger today at his press conference, and that's a great sign. "I have a lot of soul searching to do,'' he admitted, among other things. Hamilton conceded to having "three or four'' drinks with dinner Monday at a Dallas-area bar before returning for more. He poured his heart out, too.

Hamilton, who's beloved by the Rangers for his almost superhuman level of transparency, admitted he can be tricky when he drinks. He said he fooled teammate Ian Kinsler Monday night, reassuring him he'd stay in after Kinsler dropped him at home, only to return to the scene of the drinking. But Hamilton showed his unvarnished self at his press conference, saying, "I feel terrible about this.''

It's hard not to root for this guy He certainly seemed sincere. He certainly seemed to be taking this transgression seriously. His recent past suggest he is. He had one previous "relapse'' since the Rangers acquired him, and he got through that to this point. His reaction today suggest he can get through this, too. But Hamilton understands how powerful his addiction is.

"I feel terrible about this,'' he said. "I am hurt by it tremendously.''

The Rangers love Hamilton, who became a superstar after a ban from baseball for multiple failed drug tests and a cocaine additcion, because of his otherworldy talent. But they also love that he wears his heart on his sleeve. He understands the seriousness of slips, even slips that may seem relatively minor to outsiders. He said his wife has been the strong one in their relationship and it's time for him to "take responsibility'' and to "step up.''

He also mentioned he understands now how his contract situation has to be on the "back burner'' now. That is assuredly true. The Rangers are a very loyal lot, and that loyalty seems to have paid off with manager Ron Washington, who they kept and supported after he failed a drug test in July, 2010, and recently gave a two-year contract extension, too, through 2014. But they are not crazy.

That organizational loyalty was at work when the Rangers held the line in contract discussions with Prince Fielder, deciding against going to eight years for Fielder, very likely in part because they had their own lefthanded middle-of-the-lineup superstar in Hamilton. Even before Fielder signed with the Tigers, Rangers co-owner Bob Simpson even said aloud that keeping Hamilton rather than signing Fielder was his "preference.'' It was clear what he meant. Hamilton is their guy.

The Rangers make more good decisions than almost anyone (for instance, they lowered their payroll $10 million in the first of two straight years they made the World Series, 2010). But one has to wonder whether their loyalty got the better of them in this case with their decision to pass on Prince (well, not go to eight years, anyway) and try to make a deal for Hamilton instead. Now those talks have to be on hold (as Hamilton admitted).

The Rangers made a great decision to acquire Hamilton in trade from the Reds for Edinson Volquez. Reds doctors worried that Hamilton would never be fully healthy, and they practically ordered a trade. It was a strict business decision on their part. And the Rangers made a business call to acquire Hamilton, calculating that his talent was worth the risk. But seeing his obvious charm, you have to wonder whether their decision to try to sign him instead of Fielder was based at least in part on his charms or their emotions. He is 31 with a long history of injury. He is to admired for coming this far. But you have to wonder whether all the abuse has taken a toll.

Hamilton is a great guy, and a great story. And he scored big with his terrific press conference. But let's face it, the Rangers took a real risk sticking with their guy.

Category: MLB

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2012 10:04 am

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

I just don't see this as being a big of a deal as the media is making it out to be.  

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:57 pm

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

Hamilton isn't the only guy in MLB with substance abuse / addiction issues.

He IS the only guy in MLB that a team hired someone to be accountable for his behavior 24 hours a day. It might have been cheaper to have hired a 24 hour dietician for Prince Fielder. 

No one chooses to be an alcoholic or drug addict....but no one can break that addiction for them.

Sincere ?

Hamilton is a 31 year old child, that has been given another chance every time he has failed, his entire life. I'm happy he's been so blessed, but he's probably so dependant on other people being responsible for him, he's handicapped by it.

Hamilton might actually learn how to wipe his own azz, if someone for the first time in his life, actually refused to do it for him...and told him it was HIS responsibility, not an " accountability coach's".

Since: Jan 15, 2012
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:12 am

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

Come on now. He is an admitted recovering addict, in the public spotlight no less. So many can't sympathize or understand his situation.
He shouldn't have to air these personal mistakes publicly.
He's not the only MLB player living with alcoholism. The others don't get the media and fan-base scrutiny.

Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:53 am

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

This guy is HUMAN. He makes mistakes. He can go knock out some beers and carouse with the ladies. Know everyone is upset. I do  not think it is the end of the world. He could be hanging out with Jose Canseco. I think that would be worse.

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:36 am

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

Heyman you are an idiot.  The Rangers knew about Hamilton's problems WAY before they traded for him.  The Reds thought they were getting the best part of the deal in the trade.  Ask the Reds if they would make the same trade again.  The Rangers believed that Hamilton had changed and he had a support team in place prior to the trade.  Sport writers in general are just waiting for guys like Hamilton and Tebow to screw up so they can say "see I told you".  Ask Bill, Lebum, Thome, and Braylon about the crappy sportswriters in the Cleveland area.  They would cover up stories, take something personal and then start hammering the subject. 

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:05 pm

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

Sounds like an awful lot of self righteous, holier than thou talk to me. I looked at your fave teams. Ever heard of Anthony Hargrove? How about Steve Howe? Every single American professional sports franchise has had players who needed support for drug and alcohol problems. But I am sure you are a perfect upstanding person with no personal issues ever. Have your life put out in the open and see what can be dug up. Looks like you have a nice pile of stones ready to cast.
Said the self-righteous poster.  Pot, again meet kettle.  Ricky Williams agrees.

I have no idea who you were responding to but the fact is, if Hamilton couldn't hit the ball along way, you would care less.  Don't lie son.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:02 pm

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

If I played for the run down fan less Texas Rangers then I to would drink & smoke crack tooWHAT???

The Rangers have a lot of fans. Before you YankMe Fans post stupidity maybe you need to clean up your city. Your Subway is a crackhouse. Travel to Singapore and see how it should be. Rocker was right, it is like Beruit. By he way, Shame on NY for allowing the Muslim to build a Mosque at ground zero. SHAME SHAME SHAME.

As fan as Josh drinking, no big deal in my book. I don't believe that once an addict always an addict crap. 
Beirut is much safer than Dallas (less guns), especially South Dallas.

Since: Jan 9, 2012
Posted on: February 5, 2012 1:13 pm

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

At least Alcoholic Hamilton is an American - unlike a non-American drunk like Miguel Cabrera.  Maybe the time has come where MLB teams are limited to the number of non-American born players they have on their rosters...since we don't really know their real names or ages.  It is a privilege to live and work in this country; not their right.  When foreign-born players mess up; break the law a second time; they need to be deported from this country and banned from MLB.  I am a Tigers fan, but when Cabrera broke the law last year for a second time; he should have been deported from our country.  It would send a message to these foreign athletes.  There are a lot of American athletes in the minor leagues who know how to speak English and would love to play in the SHOW - but can't because the Rodriguez's, Cabrera's, and Sanchez's are in our country taking our jobs - and they don't seem to appreciate it.  

Back to Josh Hamilton - he probably isn't a bigger risk than Babe Ruth was.  Ruth carried the game of baseball for a couple of decades and he was simply the biggest drunk the sport has ever seen.  Alcoholism is a CHOICE - not a disease.  Cancer is a disease; and I wish people would quit saying that being a drunk is a disease.  If Hamilton chooses to be a drunk - then the Rangers have the choice of letting him play for them. It's not his RIGHT - it's a privilege.  Instead of playing outfield in the Major Leagues, Hamilton would be better fit working for tips as a Dallas bartender...where nobody knows your name!


Since: Aug 18, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:35 pm

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk


Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:33 am

Josh is a great guy but an even greater risk

Hamilton is a great guy, and a great story. And he scored big with his terrific press conference. But let's face it, the Rangers took a real risk sticking with their guy
Is it any more risk then signing any Dominican player? No one truly knows who they are and how old they are. They also don't know if they have a criminal record because of all the deception. That's really where "journalists" should go, but are too afraid of being branded. Where are all those stories Jon? Do you have the guts to write one? I doubt it. It might cost you this gig and your cushy one @ the MLB network.

Going after Hamilton is easy. The guy has a drink and admits it and he's a huge risk? That's pathetic. There is a much better chance of him pulling a hammy or hurting his back. There's the real risk Jon.

Where's the outrage @ Oakland possibly signing a cheating and pathetic Manny Ramirez? Where's the outrage at Brian Ca$hman's behavior? What about how Bud Selig has enabled the Wilponzis, but went after McCourt like he was a lion going after a Christian in Ancient Rome? Huh?

I hope Hamilton is sober and has a humongous MVP-type year. I wouldn't even mind him winning the WS MVP. He's a flawed human being not afraid to admit those flaws and seek help and forgiveness. He's free of hubris like so many others( see Brian Ca$hman).

Shame on you Jon.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or