Everyone has heard the story of Hamilton's relapse. Josh went to dinner alone on a Monday night at a restaurant and had a couple of drinks. Then he called teammate Ian Kinsler and hid the fact that he had been drinking. Kinsler dropped off Hamilton at his house, and Hamilton expressed that he wasn't going out. Soon after Kinsler left him, Hamilton went back to Sherlocks in Addison and was over served.
The story broke later that week and Hamilton came out with a statement. He handled the situation with tact, bravery and honesty. Rangers' fans and the media applauded Josh and were looking forward to a successful 2012 campaign.
The Sex Tape
Later another story broke. Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that pictures were floating around for sale of Josh Hamilton that are much akin to the pictures from Arizona a few years ago.
Furthermore, WFAA sports producer Or Moyal tweeted that the station he works for was offered the seven-second tape. I want to be explicitly clear: The alleged tape may not prove anything and I hope they don't. A seven-second iPhone video from a bathroom stall in a bar isn't necessarily Hambone.
I don't think Hamilton's life should be a reality show. His family, home life and addiction rehabilitation issues are his business. While it should be kept private, it won't be. I applaud outlets for not spending the money and exposing the tape—but someone will.
The Rangers recently hired Shayne Kelley as a major league assistant, according to The Dallas Morning-News. His duties will include supporting Hamilton. He'll also assist Rangers hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh.
Hamilton's contract extension has been in the news as of late, and many believe he has lost any leverage he had with the team. Traditionally, players perform in contract years. Hamilton is going to have to put out an effort similar to his 2010 year to get the kind of deal he wants.
It just takes one team to overpay and someone will. If Hamilton's contract extension isn't resolved by season's end, he'll be one of the most sought after free agents on the market.
This team has bent over backwards for Josh, and he's rewarded them with his production. That trend should continue. Josh needs to give this team the hometown discount that they've earned.
The Rangers need this to go away. They need it to be similar to Ron Washington's cocaine incident. They need Hamilton to be healthy and free from distractions. It won't be that easy.
The season needs to start today. The Josh Hamilton-Texas Rangers marriage can go back to normal. When Hamilton hits three home runs on Opening Day, he'll get an ovation—and this will be in the past.
Until then, the Rangers are still the team to beat in the American League. Pitchers and catchers report this month. We all need baseball right now.