What If Josh Hamilton Was Black?

Illya HarrellAnalyst IIAugust 9, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 14:   American League All-Star Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers takes batting practice prior to  the 2009 MLB All-Star Game against the National League All-Stars at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Josh Hamilton is a crack-addicted drunkard. A big deal was made in 2008 about his "journey to hell and back," the "demons" on his shoulder, and how he found Jesus who was to help him leave the past behind.

For people unaware of Hamilton, the quick version is this: Great family, all-American kid (just love how that tag is never used to describe anyone who is not white), first pick of the 1999 amateur draft, got hurt and couldn't play in 2002.

This is where is gets good: While injured, Josh started hanging out in a tattoo parlor, drinking like a camel and smoking crack because he was "bored." He was then kicked out of baseball, and reinstated after he claimed to have found sobriety.

His wife, Katie, stuck with him for most of his crack-headed behavior. She finally left with her 3 kids when it got really bad, but took him back after he became sober. 

Hamilton made a comeback in 2007—many never expected him to play again. 

In the first half of 2008, he set the baseball world on fire. It seemed like he was going yard every other game.

Then, pitchers learned how to pitch him, and from the second half of last year to this very moment he has been a below average player. 

Some blame injury (sure hope he didn't get "bored" again), but it has more to do with his failure to adjust his swing. Until he does, he will never experience last season's confetti or ticker-tape parades.

Earlier this year, photographs were taken of a drunken and shirtless Hamilton, getting his party on with the ladies, licking whipped cream off of their almost bare breasts.  His wife did not seem to be in any of the shots.

The photos were not made public until late last week.

It almost seems taboo for a "professional" black journalist to broach the Hamilton story. Especially from this angle.

There have been rumors that, especially while playing for Cincinnati, he was not popular in the clubhouse. 

The outspoken Brandon Phillips (a dark skinned black man) who also came from a great family, and could easily be described as an all-American kid (if he were born white), was rumored to have openly questioned why Hamilton received special treatment.

Given Phillips' propensity to tell it like it is without a sugar coat, it's safe to say that they were more than rumors. Especially while taking into account a late December, 2007, deal that shuttled Hamilton from Cincinnati to Texas.

Hamilton has a "life coach" who is supposed to follow him like a puppy, making certain he does not hit the pipe or bottle.

But how would the media treat Josh Hamilton if he looked like Phillips?

So instead of blaming the overzealous photographer, and making Hamilton out as the victim, blame Hamilton for not exhibiting self control.

His ability to hit a baseball is the only thing that separates Hamilton from the world's of millions of other drug addicts.

And it is not so much that he fell off the wagon—but more so, the fashion which it occurred. 

When did it become acceptable for a self-professed man of faith to eat whipped cream off another woman's breasts?

Every white person who believes Hamilton deserves another shot—go look in the mirror and imagine yourself as a black man with a crack pipe dangling from your mouth.