Here's an idea how Hamilton can repay Rangers
Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:44 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 1:10 pm
Josh Hamilton is said to have been seeking a contract befitting a superstar before he went on his recent bender. Whether that means eight years, or $200 million, or something a bit south of that, he should put that idea out of his head right now.
Hamilton and the Rangers both said aloud that contract talks, which were expected to get going soon, will be tabled indefinitely while he and they try to figure out where he went wrong and how it happened. And that's perfectly appropriate. But even after he thinks he has it all figured out, Hamilton owes it to the team to offer to do a one-year deal with the Rangers. It can have team options if he likes, but only one year should be guaranteed under the circumstances.
Hamilton surely understands that if the Rangers don't give him a contract rewarding his incredible talent while ignoring the obvious major negative that someone else probably will. But Hamilton should also understand now he belongs in Texas and with the Rangers, who have guided him and backed him, and really, saved him. He owes them big. It is time he defers the dollars for some common sense.
The reality, of course, is that Hamilton or any other ballplaying millionaire making such a one-year proposal is probably about as likely as Texas seceding from the union. Still, it would be refreshing under the circumstances. It would also be the right thing to do.
Hamilton acknowledged he owed his wife and his team for what he has put them through, and here's his chance to show at least the team that that wasn't merely lip service. The Rangers saved him by trading for him and watching over him these past few years. They assigned Johnny Narron, a professional baseball man, to be his "accountability coach,'' and now, after Hamilton's own father-in-law Michael Dean Chadwick turned down the job, they have brought in Shayne Kelley, a former team chaplain and baseball coach with the Univeristy of Alabama, to handles duties that are far more difficult than most of us realize.
Hamilton performed masterfully at his press conference beyond his hat being on backwards, his failure to answer questions and his rather casual jog off stage. But one must ask themselves whether it is all or mostly an act. He looks like he's gotten off scot free, except for the delayed talks. What exactly are the repercussions? Rangers GM Jon Daniels has acknowledged that Hamilton is unlikely to face punishment from MLB for his episode, which included by his own admission "three or four''' alcoholic drinks before a return trip to the bar after promising concerned teammate Ian Kinsler he'd stay in the rest of the evening.
Hamilton acknoweldged that he, as an addict, is adept at fooling people about what's really going on. The whole back story of that night isn't known, nor is very much else known about his recovery. He is mandated, as a player who regained admission to MLB after being banned for continuing drug test failures, to take at least three drug tests a week. So at the very least, he has been staying off drugs. But this is the second alcoholic episode that's been documented.
It is time for him to give back to the team. Rangers officials say they passed on eight years for Fielder not to concentrate on Hamilton, that they just saw the price as too high and the length too long for Fielder. But Rangers owner Bob Simpson suggested it was unlikely they'd sign both longterm when he expressed his preference for Hamilton. That was merely one recent act of kindness the Rangers have shown Hamilton over the years. They have saved his career. Now, as he suggested in his press conference, it is time for him to repay.