Josh Hamilton

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A week or two ago I received an e-mail from A.J. Daulerio, the editor of Deadspin and someone I’ve come to consider a friend (despite this post). He had received some damning information on Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers center fielder/recovering addict, and was debating how to play it. There were supposedly photos, A.J. said, of a drunk Hamilton doing, well, really bad things. Really, really bad.

I’ve written a lot about Hamilton over the years (see this and this and this and this), and I guess A.J. thought I could possibly have some valuable insight. I told him that, if Hamilton insisted on presenting himself as a recovering addict, and if he talked and talked and talked about it, well, Deadspin had the right—maybe even the obligation—to use the information. The one thing I said (and this comes from being the son of a substance abuse counselor, I reckon) is that, when A.J. decided to run the goods, he’d have to use restraint. No goofy captions, no mocking, no jokes. He had to play it straight because, quite frankly, thousands of people in recovery surely look to Hamilton as a beacon. The battle to maintain sobriety ain’t funny, and it ain’t easy. There’s no such thing as a recovered addict. You’re always in recovery.

Always.

Anyhow, this evening I turned on my computer and saw the Deadspin posting on Hamilton. My first reaction: How incredibly sad. For Hamilton. For his wife and kids. Just … sad. My second reaction: A.J. handled it perfectly. The pictures are jarring, and speak of the devil that is addiction. But, again, he had to run them. He had to. No questions about it.

So while I am personally devastated (no exaggeration), I give Deadspin big props. It’s a huge story, and it was handled properly.

Now let’s just hope Josh can continue his battle.

4 thoughts on “Josh Hamilton”

  1. AJ has turned deadspin into the National Enquirer. It isn’t worth visiting any longer.

    And it was only a huge story because the media made it one. They (you?) are the ones who built him up to be some kind of God because of his comeback and now everyone is getting in line to tear him down.

    He didn’t do anything any of the other baseball players haven’t done or don’t do but because the press tried to turn him into something beyond human this comes as a surprise? Not to me. Kid is human and he was so high up on a pedestal you knew he had to come down sooner or later.

  2. It feels like the Doc and Darryl stories all over again.

    Sad, I read his book recently and was really rooting for him this season.

    However, in todays media age, you have to be stupid to go out and not expect to be caught like this, unless you pay top dollar for exclusive clubs (uhh hmm Ny Giants)

  3. Couldn’t have happened to a better born again Christian, I say. I’ve seen him do lots of interviews glorifying God and how everything without God is *fill in the neocon talking point of the day* and right wing christians psychos jumped on his sober bandwagon. if youre that public about your religion, you deserve any criticism that may come your way from being a hack.

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