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Even With Latest Setback Josh Hamilton Still Provides Hope

It was nearly three years ago when Texas Rangers star outfielder Josh Hamilton had his first relapse, yet it wasn’t until months after the fact that the story became a media sensation. There were pictures that were posted on Deadspin.com and his relapse became very public. The great story of perseverance by Hamilton overcoming his drug addiction began to take a serious hit and the once positive reception he was receiving began to diminish.

I wrote an article of my own on his first relapse and that article can be found here.

A few days ago Hamilton had his second relapse once noticeable difference from the first time was that this time the story came out almost immediately and the other difference was that this time the story was not attempting to portray Hamilton in a negative light.

Immediately following the reports Hamilton responded with a press conference to go over what happened and the video of his press conference can be found at this link from CBS Sports. Like after his first relapse Hamilton has taken full responsibility for his actions. The relapse proves what he had said after his first relapse and that is “I’m a drug addict. It’s not terminal, but there is no cure. It’s hell on earth. It’s a constant struggle. And it’s going to be like that for the rest of my life.”

One question that has been asked is what is the big deal? Considering there’s a number of athletes that have and will continue to be arrested for alcohol related incidences. For example Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers on January 28th was arrested for driving under the influence in Miami.

The reason why Hamilton was not able to keep the relapse private is because of his book that told his story of overcoming his drug addiction. In a perfect world the incident would have been kept out of the media and he would not have needed to issue a public apology, yet the book Hamilton wrote on his addiction has become an inspiration and provided hope for many who have experienced addiction.

Also, there have been rumors of the Rangers and Hamilton working on a contract extension and that of course has been put on hold and that was the right move by the Rangers. Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPN wrote an article titled “Relapse Robs Josh Hamilton of Leverage.”

While Hamilton has certainly been a great player for the Rangers and deserves a contract extension at this point does the amount of money he could get really matter? Taylor quotes Jon Daniels Rangers general manager of saying “This is real. This is something that Josh deals with, an addiction, an issue that he has that affects him and the people around him that care about him. He’s a husband, he’s a father, first and foremost, and that’s where our head is, to make sure he has the support he needs and his family needs going forward.”

I also agree with Taylor’s assertion that the Rangers “should wait until this season ends to start contract talks again. Then they can see how the relationship develops between Hamilton and his new accountability partner, who’s expected to be hired early next week.”

For Hamilton he should do exactly what Daniels suggested and once he has his head cleared then he can think about playing baseball again. I believe that Hamilton will have a big season for the Rangers and provide another example to those struggling with addiction that being accountable and taking responsibility for your actions is worth it.