Josh Hamilton - Syndromes


Q.  You would suspect he's been drinking all along?

A.  Off and on.  That's something thing any counselor would do, try to get a feel for how often he's been sneaking that drink-or-eight, and the default assumption would be "very, very often." 

Look, we're not trying to hang Josh Hamilton here.  He is under incomprehensible pressure and scrutiny, and if he goes home and finds problems there ... well, religion or no religion, the guy is probably just very unhappy.  Simple as that:  he's not enjoying life.

He goes up to his room and has five drinks out of the minibar, and the pain stops for an hour or two, and he catches his breath.  Hey, other people can have drinks out of the minibar, right?  I'll have those five drinks, and it stops right here, he thinks -- and maybe it does.  Hamilton admitted to a drinking episode in 2009.  Maybe he actually has been drinking for four years, winning MVP's all along the way.

There comes a point when a man simply reasons, "I didn't grow up and become a baseball star and a millionaire, so that this girl I married (or other family member) could own me.  It's my life."

Of course, Hamilton's faith should lead to a different paradigm:  he's abstaining because that's the way HE believes he can make the world a better place.  

But we're human, and we can fall back to the immature paradigm.  "Nobody can tell me what to do; that's ridiculous, for a guy like me to be under the thumb of that person."


Q.  What is your guess as to Hamilton's future?

A.  Boras or no Boras, I'm guessing that the $100M contract is well-and-truly out of the question.  He's going to be grossly "underpaid" for the rest of his life, I would think.

The Rangers had a zero-tolerance policy on his alcohol, not his drugs, and am guessing that they could void his contract if they wanted to.  If I were them, I probably would, in order to give him a fresh start somewhere else, or else I'd trade him.  The clubhouse would be pretty weird now.

Did you read Hamilton's book?  He led a truly pathetic life while out of baseball.  We're all hoping that his problems never extend to anything past drinking.  Unfortunately, he's at a dangerous spot right now, because the pain and pressure are liable to increase now...


Perhaps his Rangers teammates are crazy good at support, encouragement, accountability and so forth.  If so, great, stick with that.  

The average pro athlete would see this happen and go, "I skipped my champagne bath for this guy, and then he turns around and goes out and drinks anyway?  Forget him!"  But maybe Josh's Ranger teammates really do love him, and will react constructively.  Let's hope.  

A person's environment isn't their cell phones and high-def TVs and expensive cars.  A person's environment is the people around them.  For Hamilton to get into positive syndromes from here, his co-workers will be pivotal.  He wouldn't succeed with co-workers who resent him.  But if his co-workers are sincerely supportive -- and they may be -- then great.





My first question would be related to the way baseball as a profession works compared to real life.
For 6-8 months, he's living primarily with his buds.  Then he spends 1/3 of the year living a completely different life - in regards to day-to-day pattern.
Attempting to resolve the annual life style reset likely doesn't help.  I would imagine he 'tends' to do better during the season and is more apt to stray during the off-season.  Makes me wonder what the abuse patterns of addicts and alcoholics would be in the teaching profession with those annual 3 month vacations.


The home-and-away factor may even be the #1 thing to look at here.  Teachers, Alaskan fishermen, guys in the Navy, pro athletes, etc.
Assuming that they are making a good-faith effort, as Hamilton obviously is, the system shock of the "second life" (and second set of people) is a huge challenge IMHO.  
Hamilton's statistics are one piece of evidence that supports your theory bro'.

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.