Josh Hamilton and His Fall From Grace | Bonehead Picks

Josh Hamilton and His Fall From Grace

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There’s a reason why addictions are hard to kick..

Josh Hamilton, the 33-year old Los Angeles Angels slugger who has had a history of drug addiction, reportedly had a relapse over the winter which involves cocaine.

NBC Hardball talk reported that it appears to be a drug relapse after Hamilton was asked to meet with MLB at their New York offices.  This  would most likely result in Hamilton being entered into MLB’s drug rehab program, but no suspension.

Since Hamilton’s last documented drug use was when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system in the early 2000’s (prior to new regulations on drug abuse through the MLB), this is technically his first strike.

That’s about the only good news that will come of this for Hamilton. He was already scheduled to miss at least a month of the regular season recovering from shoulder surgery.

Hamilton was a top prospect for Tampa Bay as the calendar turned over to the 21st century. He was out of the game for nearly six years until the Cincinnati Reds gave him a shot in the 2007 season. Being completely clean, Hamilton put up solid numbers in his rookie campaign and was eventually traded after the season to the Texas Rangers for then top pitching prospect Edinson Volquez.

In 2008, Hamilton put on a show at the old Yankee Stadium during the Home Run Derby. Having arguably the greatest Home Run Derby showing of all time, Hamilton’s story of his recovery hit the national airwaves and TV screens. Hamilton became a role model for those who had issues kicking addiction.

Following the 2008 season, Hamilton’s story of his recovery hit book shelves. Beyond Belief: Finding The Strength To Come Back was a best seller and made Hamilton one of Major League Baseball’s most popular players. It only got better for Josh.

In 2010, Hamilton took home the American League Most Valuable Player award after an amazing campaign. He hit a league leading .359, hit 32 homers and drove in exactly 100 runs. Hamilton also led the league in Slugging percentage and OPS (On-Base + Slugging percentage).

From the 2010 season on (regardless of winning the MVP award), things became more difficult for Hamilton. Injuries began to pile up for him. Falling short of a World Series Championship two years in a row, including being one game short of actually winning it all. David Freese and the Cardinals stopped that dream.

After the 2012 season, Hamilton signed with the Los Angeles Angels to a five year, $125 million deal. His 2013 season was a major disappointment, and his 2014 season was ravaged by injuries, including a 2014 ALDS ouster by the Kansas City Royals.

Hamilton’s 2015 was already due to start at least one month later due to recovery from surgery. The downward spiral of his career may have attributed to this relapse. Hopefully he is able to get his life on track with rehab. An Addiction is hard to kick, and the proof is right here.

 

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(Photo- Lisa Blumfield/Getty Images)

 

 

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