Josh Hamilton relapse: Show some compassion
It's time to show Josh Hamilton a little compassion. Hamilton, the Texas Rangers' outfielder and a recovering addict, drank alcohol at a Dallas area bar Monday night, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The Rangers released a statement saying they are "aware of a situation, but we do not have further comment at this time."
Meanwhile, this has brought out the worst in some commenters all across the Internet, with many laughing at Hamilton's professed belief that Jesus gives him strength, or thinking "What do you expect from an addict?"
Apparently, teammate Ian Kinsler went to the bar Monday in an attempt to convince Hamilton to leave, which shows you at least one teammate thinks he is worth trying to help.
All we know for sure right now is that Hamilton relapsed for one night. He is tested for drugs three times a week. He had an accountability partner, former coach Jerry Narron, to support him in his recovery, and it's probably no coincidence that the relapse comes after Narron left the team to become the Milwaukee Brewers' hitting coach. His accountability partner leaving is just one of a couple of bad things to happen to Hamilton in the last year.
Last summer, Hamilton threw a foul ball toward fans in the left-field seats at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, and a man fell to his death as he lost his balance trying to make the catch. The man's young son was standing right next to his father when he fell. That had to have had an effect on Hamilton. Add that tragedy to the disappointment of losing in the World Series for the second year in a row, followed by his accountability partner leaving, and it's easy to see how all those things could lead to a moment of weakness.
But this is the time for people to rally around Hamilton and support him. To understand that he is human, just like the rest of us, and while he made a mistake, it doesn't have to be the end of his world. That we have all had moments of weakness, and we have all needed people to support us during those times, not make fun of us. That we applaud his years of sobriety, and don't add "but you let us all down" to his thought process as he tries to find the right path again.
A little compassion goes a long way. Many people are rallying around Hamilton today, but for those who want to use this to attack him, look in a mirror, and ask yourself if you will ever need anyone to support you one day.
Photo: Josh Hamilton of the Rangers during the 2011 season. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press.