Q. What is your guess as to the future for the Rangers?
[Spiritual Alert - skip if you can't stand this stuff - or not; it's up to you]
Nicely done Jeff. I have Hamilton's autobiography on my shelf (yes I did read it). Using the word "autobiography" on someone so young seems kind of ironic, considering his biography is by no means complete. For his family's sake, I hope it is incomplete for many more years to come.
I've dealt with addiction in my family too. As you know, I share your worldview, but also respect the secular attempts to deal with this type of issue.
Addiction is usually a private sin that becomes public at some point. Although the "disease" aspect has some merit - especially dealing with how the psyche is involved, the decisions to go down that path in the first place are still ours to make. With alcoholism on both sides of my family, decisions that I make to "have a few drinks" are my decisions alone. They come with some cost. But the same thing applies to decisions we make regarding anything else that would be considered sinful (i.e. our decision to explore a relationship with another woman while we are married, etc.). When someone needs to recover from decisions like that, repentance is the best road. The "fact" that more people who "repent" tend to stay clean makes sense, if there is a God to answer to. Whether it's addiciton or adultery, owning your decisions go a long way toward healing broken things. Strangely enough, even non-believers who "repent" (turn away from their bad choices) do better. If there is a God, it would stand to reason that turning away from things that don't lift Him up would fit how the world really is. If there is not, making the choice to repent still works.
I've dealt with the personally, losing my younger brother to substance abuse.
I have to take issue with this statement, which I think is about 50% wrong, 50% right:
I respect those who sincerely believe that it works better to treat substance abuse as a disease that is not the victim's fault.
Substance abuse is undoubtedly a disease. However, that doesn't mean Hamilton doesn't have to take responsibility for it, own it. Ultimately it is his fault/responsibility. An addict looks at the situation like this - you have a pill in each hand. You know the pill in the right hand is a vitamin C, you won't get high, but you'll go on a lead a wonderful, normal life. The pill in the left hand is drugs, you know that it is going to destroy your life (usually they aren't even in denial about that!). Knowing it will destroy their life, they take the pill in the left hand. There is no rational thinking going on in this scenario - so its difficult to try and analyze it with your framework. There is no cost/benefit analysis going on in an addicts brain.
I would paint a rosier picture of how this will play out in the clubhouse. Generally speaking, Hamilton did a great job staying sober for a long, time - which bodes well for getting past this. The Rangers just came off a world series, have a tight clubhouse generally. I think they will fully support and help him, this time. Here's an analogy - if your friend is a kleptomaniac, you'll say they need help. If you friend steals from you, he is a thief! The Rangers won't let this slide, but they will give him a break, but next time he's looking at the door.
I'm right there with a 9 figure check and a hug to pick him up. I think that's a great place to park our Ichiro money.
No one has been more open about their substance abuse problems and trying to find healthy solutions than Hamilton. He's not in denial. He's not blaming other people.
He's maintaining a support structure and doing most of the things you could ask of a guy with an issue.
I'd be happy to make him the vet centerpiece of our team next year and have him lead our rag-tag bunch of mega-talented fugitives back to the playoffs, thank ya kindly.
Good people are hard to find. Hamilton has an acknowledged addiction problem that's he's been pro-active about for years.
Rather have that than a selfish teammate, or a spousal abuser, or any number of other potential problems.
Please, Texas, decide you can spend your money better elsewhere. Josh can play for me any day.
You could say, hey, we think so highly of the way you are approaching your problems, we'll marry you and sink or swim with you.
It's one thing to take on the problems of a Pac-Man Jones or a Ben Roethlisberger, out of purely bargain-hunting reasons ... another thing to take on a flawed human being that you respect, and if things go sideways, you don't feel so bad about it ...
A lot of us could do with a paycheck and a hug, too :- ) and many of us would be loyal employees for it...