Josh Hamilton: Rangers' Decision to Hire Another Babysitter an Insult to Team

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 3: Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers holds a press conference at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on February 3, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Hamilton admitted to drinking alcohol earlier in the week.  (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers don’t trust Josh Hamilton and it’s a slap to the face of the entire team.

I’m fully aware that addiction is an ongoing struggle that is a disease that never fully goes away. But with today’s announcement from the Rangers team website that they plan on hiring Shayne Kelley as a major league staff assistant, they’re essentially telling Hamilton that they have zero trust in him. One minor relapse where he drank three or four beers is not reason enough to sound any alarms.

Kelley was team chaplain at Alabama from 1996-99 and has 15-years’ experience as an assistant including a two-year tenure as a minor strength and conditioning for the Kansas City Royals. A solid baseball resume, but one that doesn’t warrant this type of promotion. The plan is for Kelley to look after Hamilton and help him stay sober as his “accountability partner."

Kelley is here for one reason: keep an eye on Josh Hamilton.

Johnny Narron was the man that used to fill this position, but he was hired as the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach. Having his own personal coach that follows him around never sat well in his brief tenure with the Cincinnati Reds per USA Today and it was rumored to be one of the reasons he was traded for Edinson Volquez and prospects.

Hamilton’s father-in-law Michael Dean was originally going to take the position, which makes sense considering how well he knows the former MVP, but backed out because he felt Hamilton didn’t need somebody monitoring his every move per hardballtalk.com.

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Hamilton has never been linked to any sort of mischief during a season and people need to get over the 2009 relapse where he got blackout drunk. The important thing there was that he didn’t smoke crack. That’s the main thing to worry about with his addictive personality and he’s shown no signs of going back to that drug.

So when Hamilton goes out for a few beers and doesn’t get into any trouble or do anything dumb, he needs a guy to follow his every move?

He doesn’t need it anymore, and it also suggests that he’s getting preferential treatment. Do you think the 25th man on the team would ever get his own coach regardless of the problem he has?

Obviously players would never admit it to the public, but there has to be some animosity there with his teammates behind the scenes.  

I think Hamilton has shown the ability to live his life without somebody breathing down his neck and today’s news shows the lack of confidence management has in him.