Hamilton said if #Angels had put their arm around him after relapse, he would’ve “been playing probably a month ago.”
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) April 27, 2015
I believe that tweet says it all. I’ve said on multiple occasions on this blog that all the Los Angeles Angels have done is kick a decent guy when he’s down instead of reaching out a hand and helping him back up.
Instead they acted like parents who misunderstand their child’s issues (many people recovering from addiction are using the drug/alcohol to self-medicate or mask some sort of inner pain or mental illness) and instead of helping through what is likely a rough, confusing and/or emotional time. The misunderstanding parents simply scold and punish the child.
Is that not exactly what the Angels did to Josh Hamilton? Now, I don’t want to compare Hamilton to a child and the Angels to parents, technically he was their employee.
Hamilton handled his situation the only way an adult can handle such a situation. He was recovering from shoulder surgery AND fighting with his wife (whom he has since filed for divorce from) so he was going through a rough, confusing and emotional time. No one can deny that.
He relapsed. Yet instead of trying to hide the mistake he made he immediately came clean and told the Angels and Major League Baseball what he had done and was prepared to take whatever repercussions that came with his admission. That’s maturity right there.
Believe me it feels weird for me to say these things about a man who has always been an enemy to my favorite team (except in 2012, game 162 – if you were there you know what I am talking about! 😉 ). However, I like to give credit where credit is due and Josh Hamilton deserves credit for being the bigger person in this situation.
What he needed was understanding and a bit of help to get himself back on track. The reprehensible way the Angels treated him – publicly scolding him, practically banishing him from the team – was the exact opposite of what they should have done. They kicked the guy when he was down (I know I’ve said that before too but it is true!).
Now that the trade of Hamilton from the Angels to the Texas Rangers is finally official, I know that Hamilton will get the reception from the team that he needs and deserves.
Some fans were mad at him for leaving in the first place but I think after the way he’s been treated and the way he has reacted – I hope at least – that the Rangers’ fans will welcome him back with open arms.
Hamilton has a support system in Texas, both with friends and family as well as with the organization. He should get the assistance he needs there.
I also am not sure how much of a coincidence it was – at least not anymore – that Hamilton played poorly for the Angels. If they treated him poorly during his tenure with the team that could have affect his health and his play.
Of course the Rangers won’t be getting the MVP caliber Hamilton back that they once used to have but he’ll be an upgrade to any of their current outfielders regardless of the numbers he put up.
It’d be nice to see Hamilton truly thrive back in Texas. Of course age and lifestyle choices always will catch up to a player but if he is actually happy, his play should improve at least a little bit.
So good for Josh and good for the Texas Rangers. I truly hope they have a happy reunion. With the season the Rangers had last year and Hamilton having been miserable on the Angels, I’m sure it will be (yes, even though I am an A’s fan! LOL).