What Can We Really Say About Josh Hamilton?

Last night, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reported that Josh Hamilton was spotted drinking at a local area bar on Monday evening. According to the report, Ian Kinsler appeared at some point and tried to convince Hamilton to leave. Beyond that, we don’t really know much. In fact, including that information, I’d argue that we don’t really know much.

I’m conflicted about even writing about this, to be honest. Yes, it’s news, and we try to provide analysis and commentary about things going on in the news, but what can we really say about Hamilton’s battle to remain sober? I have no insight into addiction or what a relapse might mean for a recovering addict. There might be people who can speak about what could be inferred from Hamilton falling off the wagon, but as far as I know, no one on staff is an expert on alcoholism. I’m certainly not, and I don’t feel qualified to have any kind of opinion on what this news means for Hamilton’s sobriety.

I was tempted to write about what this might mean for Hamilton’s potential chances for a contract extension, since that’s a bit more up our alley, but anything we said would really just be baseless speculation. To actually know how this might affect the Rangers desire to give Hamilton a long term contract, we’d need access to information that only they’re privy to – his drug test schedule and results, his resolve to get back on the wagon, and what steps he’s willing to take to ensure that this doesn’t become a recurring issue.

We don’t know any of that. In all honestly, we don’t really know anything. The only thing I’m comfortable saying about this news is that I hope Josh Hamilton wins his battle with alcohol and that the sport is better when he’s playing at a high level. Whether you root for the Rangers or not, Josh Hamilton is worth rooting for.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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