Today, two interesting MLB tidbits were tossed about. First was Big Papi’s press conference in NY regarding his name on the 104.. or is it 83? Well that’s a blog for a little later. The second tidbit was that Josh Hamilton may have relapsed from his sobriety, if only for a day.
Supposedly, according to some on-line source who has no source, Hamilton was viewed on a warm night in March towards the end of Spring Training in AZ not only drinking but being a serving plate for several rather delicious young ladies to slurp body shots off of. Poor guy. But, a press conference followed and Josh was very straightforward in setting the record straight. Yes, he relapsed and drank though he did not say to what extent (the site referred to him as quite ‘wasted’, though Josh may be a lightweight at this point so I’ll reserve the amount of alcohol for speculation) and admitted to be shirtless and allowing the aforementioned delicious hotties to slurp body shots off his person. Well, he’s married with kids as well as a confessed believer in God who delivered him through the bad times from addiction… so he has to recover from bad PR as well. Oh, and it wasn’t March but January so I wouldn’t even bother paying the unnamed website any mind.. they apparently don’t research their facts too hard.
Which brings me to my point… does any one remember an outfielder for the Yankees way back when… wore the number 7… name reminds you of a mouse or maybe an Irish nickname? Yeah, that guy… Mickey Mantle. Shouldn’t MLB or inparticular the Rangers be a bit more involved with Josh and his activities? No, you can’t have a babysitter for a grown millionaire but you can require a few more hair and piss tests for the guy. Not to single him out, but he obviously is human and like most people with addictive personalities (as he has shown) just can’t fight this alone. He’s a rock-star, and women want him, guys wanna’ buy him drinks and families want to crowd him. It’s just that simple. The pressure, I’d imagine, is unreal.
Mantle, as has been widely documented for decades, destroyed himself and most especially his career. Even he wondered how different his overall numbers may have been if he was sober. Like The Mick, Josh has shown flashes of brilliance such as last years Home Run Derby as well as his everyday play. And like The Mick, he’s shown an ability to suddenly break down. Sure, I agree that he hasn’t been around long enough to show a consistent record of break downs… but after some fantastic seasons he’s suddenly in a big damn slump and apparently pretty dinged-up. The news flash of his supposed ‘one night only’ relapse may explain a bit. After all, I’d be a bit afraid to tell Nolan Ryan I had fu%&ed up and the team may be suffering in the standings for it. From the stories you hear, working for Ryan is like working for Darth Vadar… no he’s in NY pinstripes…
If Mantle should have showed us one thing, it’s that baseball cannot just rely on the buddy system for keeping some it’s more fragile mega-talent on the straight and narrow (Heck, ask the NFL how that’s working out). I’m not saying hold Hamilton’s or anyone else’s hands, but maybe getting a bit more in-depth wouldn’t hurt. Everyone is so caught up in the ‘We Test for Steroids’ parade, that maybe some other players and their demons are slipping through the cracks.
I would just hate for history to repeat itself as to this date, The Mick is still dead, having died moderately young from the aftermath of his self-abuse.