Texas Rangers

Hamilton Slumping: No Need to Hear About His Demons

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 05:  Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers drinks froma powerade cup during the spring training game against the San Diego Padres at Surprise Stadium on March 5, 2009 in Surprise, Arizona. The Rangers defeated the Padres 4-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Illya HarrellAnalyst IIJune 6, 2009

If I had to pick one story that made me nauseous by the end of the 2008 season, it would be Josh Hamilton's journey from "hell" to the big leagues. 

So what?  He put down the crack pipe, found Jesus, and started playing a game again.

Did Tim Raines, or any of the other 12 coke heads, get standing ovations when they came back from the infamous 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials?

Tim Raines did lines of coke off of his glove while playing the outfield.  He slid into bases on his non-vial side to make sure it wouldn't break.

Where were his ticker-tape parades?

The difference?  Raines didn't go around during the offseason preaching to kids the way Josh Hamilton did, and does.

Where are the stories about the players who fought addiction and beat it—without telling anyone?  You don't hear them!  Why?  Addiction can be very easy to hide. 

If you don't believe that, then you've never been addicted to anything.

Where are the stories about Jeff Allison, the Marlins' first round (seventh overall) 2003 draft pick?  Again, you don't hear them.  Why?  Because he's probably shooting heroin under a bridge right now.

People have become such suckers for special interest, Lifetime Channel-style movie stories—it's sickening.

I say, bring back the bad boys of the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials!  Yeah, I'm talking to you, Yogi's kid, Dave Parker, Willie Mays Aikens, "Rock" Raines, and Rod Scurry...well, I would be talking to you Scurry, if you hadn't died of a cocaine-induced heart attack.

Josh Hamilton is just another rock head who was lucky enough to get clean.  There are thousands more like him in this country...and probably a few playing in the bigs right now.



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