Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Will Josh Hamilton play baseball again?
In one of the saddest breaking news stories of the offseason, Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton has suffered a relapse with cocaine. Hamilton had been rehabbing a shoulder injury when the news struck. He had been expected to be ready early in the season.
Hamilton has battled addiction his whole career. His disease, and that’s what addiction truly is, cost him over three years of his career. It is unclear how he will be punished for this latest offense, but the punishment is not the important thing; his recovery is.
Hamilton has been a massive disappointment in LA, failing to live up to the $125 million contract he signed in 2013. In 240 games with the Angels, he has hit 31 home runs and driven in 123 runs, a far cry below the single season numbers he was putting up with Texas.
Hamilton missed three full seasons from 2003 to 2005 to clean himself up. I have no idea if it will take that long this time. Major League Baseball has not announced any disciplinary action against Hamilton, but discipline or not, he needs to step away from the game to seek help. Baseball cannot hold the most important place in Hamilton’s life at this point.
Yes, baseball is his profession, but he is a husband, father and family man first. His wife and children need him to conquer his demons before he worries about hitting a baseball. The Angels knew what they were getting into when they signed Hamilton, and they must support their player in any way possible.