No News Like Old News

In the May 27 issue of Sports Illustrated there was a nice piece done on Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and his battle back from a cocaine addiction.

Check it out here.

In regards to the article I've heard a lot of "experts" criticizing him in a way similar to that of much maligned Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams. Williams didn't really have a passion for anything other than studying scripture and smoking dope but he came back to football for the money.

There's no doubt in that and his story is similar to the Hamilton story in that both had drug addictions and cleaned up to get back into their respective leagues. Hamilton mentions that he doesn't watch ESPN highlights or read box scores because he isn't really a "fan" of the game. Williams isn't a "fan" of the game either and never really said he plans to or has already, quit smoking marijuana. He's staying clean to pick up a paycheck and I suppose this year will show if he's the Williams of old or just old.

Hamilton and his story is well-documented. If you read the article you see that he has quit using drugs of any kind to a point that he's even afraid to go out with teammates after games for fear of relapse. Is he playing the game just for the money at this point? Probably. Does that mean we can't root for him? Absolutely not. While Hamilton may not have the love for the game that a fan does, he goes out there every day and does his job and does it well.

While it is a game, it's still a job for these guys.

As long as Hamilton stays clean he'll remain a good story. Anything positive that can help a recovering addict is good, despite the fact that we want everyone who plays sports to "love" it.

On a funnier note, in the very unlikely event the Texas Rangers won the American League West, what would Hamilton do?

Champagne is poured onto teammates, beers are chugged and all sorts of wild antics ensue inside the clubhouse after something like that. Does he just jump in the car with his advisor after the team clinches it? Does he run into the bathroom and close his eyes? Does everyone spray Diet Coke and Grape Juice? It would be a rather interesting site to see but don't worry, the Rangers aren't even close...