Rangers Josh Hamilton’s recovery crisis just before Spring Training Reply

By Texas Pro Sports blogger, Jordan Gnipp

Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, admitted recently again to drinking. Hamilton’s history of struggles with sustance abuse is a long one. A #1 overall pick by Tampa Bay in 1999, he has struggled on and off with substance abuse since, and had to miss all of the 2003-2005 seasons.  

Hamilton finally made his Major League debut in 2007, with the Cincinnati Reds, before being traded to the Rangers. Since then, he has been nothing short of amazing for the Texas club. Hamilton was the American League MVP in 2010, and has helped the Rangers win the last two AL pennants to play in the World Series (the Rangers lost both appearances).

Josh Hamilton’s recent relapse not only causes concern for him on a personal level, but the club, his teammates, and his fans are affected, too. The Rangers are understandably holding off on a contract extension for Hamilton at this time. He has been assigned an accountability monitor and will have to work hard to build his reputation back up of being a baseball hero in the eyes of his fans, as well as a role model for recovering addicts.

February 26th is the date slated to be the first full work out for the Rangers team. That’s when  outfielder Hamilton also beings another long road to redemption. Americans and sports fans in general, love to forgive and watch a good comeback story but they also get tired of repeat offenders. Hamilton is now walking that fine line as either a fan favorite or an habitual addict doing the same old song and dance. 

With the right effort and attitude (most importantly, staying clean of alcohol and drug use), Hamilton should be able to help the Rangers contend again for a 2012 title, and he could possibly secure a new contract with the Rangers. Keep in mind this is the same club that kept Manager Ron Washington after he admitted to having used cocaine. This is not new territory for the Rangers and they have shown the patience to work with someone going through substance abuse problems. But that patience will not be unlimited from management or from the fans.  With everyone still rooting for him, Josh Hamilton would be wise to play hard and clean this year.

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