With football over, it’s time to focus on the misgivings of other athletes (for the counterpoint to the Teabag, check out our BOB). This week, it’s none other than Josh Hamilton, the can’t miss/can’t miss a bar/found Jesus/loves the rock/doesn’t love the rock/just a matter of time before he falls off the wagon (again) kid. You can say Josh had a pretty good offseason, signing a five year, $125 million dollar contract with the Angels. But this goes to show you…even gobs of money won’t stop you from acting like a fool.
Josh, not content with looking at his bank account, found time to throw his old team, the Texas Rangers, and their fans, under the bus. Josh complained that Dallas really wasn’t a baseball town, and that the fans are spoiled. Now, these comments alone aren’t really eye-raising. Sure, they’re dickish, but sometimes it’s ok to be dickish to your former employer. However, there are rules for doing so.
If you were shunned and/or pushed out by your former club, then it’s ok. No one gives Kevin Youkilis shit for ragging on the Red Sox. Also, if your former Manager was Bobby Valentine, you get a lifetime pass. But in Josh’s case, it’s different.
Josh was once the number one overall pick in the 1999 MLB draft for Tampa Bay. However, he never realized his potential, primarily because he smoked and drank everything within a ten mile radius of the clubhouse. Out of baseball, Josh returned in 2007 for one year with Cincinnati, and then parlayed that into five solid years with Texas…getting to two World Series and winning the AL MVP in 2010. Sure, he had a couple of missteps (read: relapses) during those five years, but the Rangers stuck with him. And that’s why he should kiss the ground they (and their fans) walk on.
Josh is just another example of talent trumping character…but even that has its limits. Josh became a hero in Dallas because they stuck with him and waited for him to realize his potential…that, and averaging more than 28 homers and 101 RBI will do it. We’re suckers for a feel good story of perseverance and conquering addictions. Texas could have easily cut him during one of his mini-benders and no one would’ve batted an eye. Sure, someone else would’ve given him (another) chance, but not to the tune of five years, $125 million.
No one should be thanking their old team more than Josh. Seriously, for his introductory press conference in LA, he should’ve worn a throwback Nolan Ryan Angels jersey and thanked his old boss for giving him the chance to become a star. Instead, he shows his true colors by immediately turning his back on those who supported him the most. After his comments went viral, Josh (read: his publicist) was quick to issue the “taken out of context” line the next day, but The Machine’s not buying that. Query: has the “taken out of context” line ever worked? The Machine’s willing to bet it’s as successful as the “I didn’t realize that was your sister” line.
The Rangers already had a bad taste in their mouth from you based on your 0-4 (with two strikeouts) performance in the wildcard game last season (your last game with Texas). This just pours salt over the wounds.
Without the Rangers, he’s likely tits up in some seedy motel getting tatted (again) or worse. We’re hoping he has a solid support system in LA (Dr. Drew’s close by) and stays off the sauce. We’re also hoping he learns some humility.
Step 1 is denial. Step 2 is a teabag.