Crack Addicts Shouldn’t be Heroes
Stop kissing Josh Hamilton’s ass. He doesn’t deserve all the praise and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be called a hero or a role model or a good influence. He was a complete f**k up, but because he’s can still play baseball better than almost anyone else alive we should praise him? No.
Yes, he was addicted to cocaine and crack for years. Yes, the fact that he seems to have made a full recovery is impressive (overcoming any addiction that overwhelms a person like that is impressive), but he’s not a great guy because of it. He should be working his way back to being an OK guy. Half a season of good baseball doesn’t clear him of all the bad sh*t he did before.
I’m not trying to take anything away from what Hamilton has done. It‘s amazing that he has cleaned himself up so well, but getting clean doesn’t make him special, and I’m upset that so many people think it does. Lots of people sober up after drug problems and lead productive lives. What makes Hamilton so noteworthy?
If he couldn’t play sports Hamilton would still be a complete f**k up today, he’d just be a poor clean and sober f**k up. Hamilton doesn’t have a college education or a degree to fall back on, he only has sports. Without his athletic ability his best bet would be going back to school and working his ass off to stay clean and to make something of himself. If that didn’t work out there’d always be motivational speaking gigs and Burger King. But Hamilton picked up a bat and glove and realized he could still play ball. His genetics bailed him out.
If Josh Hamilton was a stock broker or a chef nobody would care about him at all, but he’s an all-star athlete, and for some reason that makes him praise worthy. When teachers get involved with drugs they lose their jobs and are never allowed to teach again to protect the children. When athletes get involved with drugs they’re encouraged to talk to as many kids as possible. That makes sense…
As fans we should be furious that we’ve been missing him play this well all along. If he can play ball like this after killing himself with chemicals for a few years imagine what he could have done if he had never picked up a crack pipe. So far he’s had a great first-half of a season, but it’s only half, we don’t even know if he can keep it up for all 162 games. He’s not done proving himself.
Hamilton was the number one pick in the 1999 MLB draft and highly touted as the best amateur player in the country. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays and given a $4million signing bonus. I bet the Rays wish they could get that money back. He played in Tampa’s minor league system for a few years before his drug addiction caught up to him, and he was suspended for a failed test. Everything snowballed from there.
Hamilton was out of the game for three years following that failed test. During that time he found Jesus, got himself clean, and finally became the ball player everyone thought he could be. Now he plays for the Texas Rangers and it seems like he’s finally ready for a great career, albeit with a late start. I have my doubts though.
The drugs Hamilton did must have taken a toll. He’s playing great now, but how long can he keep this up? Through 93 games this season he’s batting .310, with 21 homers and 95 RBIs. Very impressive numbers, but can he keep that kind of pace up? I hate to say it, but I don’t think he can.
Hamilton also had the single greatest first found in homerun derby history last week with 28 homeruns, but he couldn’t keep it up. He only hit three runs in the finals and didn’t look good doing it. I think it’s a sign of what’s to come. A meteoric rise to the top followed by a sudden, drastic falling off. His body can only take so much abuse, between the drugs and professional sports it’s got to give out sooner or later and I’m predicting sooner. I just hope that when it does it’ll be from the sports and not from a relapse.