A busy few days…

Its been an interesting few days in the hobby as a whole, and in the Josh Hamilton segment of it as well.

First, the obvious hobby news.  Topps gets an exclusive license from the MLB.  As an avid hockey collector, I am not really looking forward to how this is going to turn out.  Upper Deck has had an exclusive in the hockey world for quite some time, and it has a lot of drawbacks.  Simply put – UD seems to have gotten lazy with hockey.  There are tons of mistakes, which just don’t seem as prevalent in the other sports where there is competition.  I hope this doesn’t happen with Topps and baseball.

As for UD continuing to produce sets featuring players without logos – its an option, but not necessarily a good option.  In The Game has produced quality hockey sets without a license for years, but they just don’t have the same provenance as the licensed sets.  The die-hards appreciate and collect them, but they don’t catch on with the mainstream.

Moving on from the hobby news, which right now is just speculation because no one really knows how it will turn out to Josh Hamilton news.  Even though he hasn’t been hitting very well, there has been plenty of news floating about.  First, he reveals that he was taking medication for ADD which affected his appetite and caused him to lose about 20 pounds.  He’s gained some back, and stopped taking the medication.

The bigger news, in some circles was the publication of photos of Hamilton partying it up in a bar in Arizona during the off-season.  The Texas Rangers Blog summarizes the story quite well. It happened back in January, and Hamilton came clean to the important people in his life immediately after.  He didn’t take any drugs, which would have resulted in him likely failing an MLB-mandated drug test, but he did go out and get drunk.  And do body shots.  And be photographed doing both of these things.

I’m disappointed, but not stunned.  Obviously, the fairy tale would continue if Hamilton resisted temptation at every turn, and led a monk’s life from the time he stopped taking drugs.  I’m not surprised it didn’t turn out that way, though.  I don’t have any history of alcohol or drug problems, and I find it pretty easy to have someone twist my arm into a few drinks, and then a few more, and then a few more.  Its a slippery slope.

I’m happy Hamilton dealt with the issues quickly to alert those who needed to know, and hope that he has taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.  As much as athletes seem like superheroes at times, its important to remember that they still have their foibles:  “I don’t feel like I’m a hypocrite. I feel like I’m human.”

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9 Responses to A busy few days…

  1. night owl says:

    I hope people don’t make too big a deal about Hamilton going out and having a good time (maybe too good of a good time).

    But they probably will. There will always be people out there that like to bring down people who have turned their life around. It makes them feel better about themselves somehow.

    Just because Josh has quit his drug habit and committed his life to his faith doesn’t mean that he’s any more perfect than anyone else. There will still be setbacks/temptations/problems. Because he’s human.

    I’d like to think everyone knows that already. But I guess they don’t.

  2. Agreed. People screw up. Even those who try really hard not to.

  3. Dave says:

    I’m disappointed. But you summed it up well.

  4. Dave says:

    Well…I saw the photos. And I’m a little more disappointed. Regardless of the substance abuse, the guy is married. And there are certain things you just don’t do. He shouldn’t WANT to do them, really.

    Pretty big letdown. Doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, doesn’t mean he won’t be a great person. But it looked like more than just having a few drinks at a bar.

    Too bad.

  5. Mario A. says:

    It would not be such a big deal if he wasn’t such a Bible Thumper.

    We are used to baseball players being sleazy adulterers, so these photos are nothing new. The problem lies in the fact he keeps going on TV, writing books, articles, etc. about how he turned his life around while he’s clearly not doing right.

  6. ‘Bible Thumper’ has such negative connotations.

    It usually calls to mind a judgemental jerk with no consideration for other’s weaknesses.

    He made a mistake, and immediately came clean to the people who had an issue with it. Everyone screws up. Even people who try really hard not to. And even people who spend a lot of time telling about how they got away from their problems.

    Its just another sign that breaking away from addictions and alcoholism isn’t just the easiest thing to do.

    He has turned his life around. And then he slipped. Like countless others. Only profiteering jackasses are waiting to capitalize on his every failing.

  7. Mario A. says:

    Do you honestly believe that this is the only time he’s messed up? I guess I am more upset with the constant pushing of his story by the media than I am at Josh.

    When a story is shoved down our throats, something like this is bound to cause some serious waves.

  8. I have no idea how many times he has screwed up. I have no idea how many times 99.9999999% of the world’s population has screwed up. It happens. People are fallible creatures. We get tempted, we covet, we envy.

    Josh has never said ‘I am better because I found God.’ He said ‘I found God and it helped me, let me tell you about it.’ Until he chases me down the street, tackles me and shouts in my face about how I live my life (I live around a Mormon church, its not that extreme but close), he isn’t a hypocrite. He’s an example of how you can try really hard and have all the support systems in place and still fail.

    And it still supports one of the reasons I find him so compelling – it is what you do after you screw up, and after you hit rock bottom and keep digging that matters. He got drunk and fooled around in a bar? And he called his wife the next day. He called the Rangers to tell them he’d been drinking. There isn’t a human alive who hasn’t made a mistake. There are lots who don’t do anything about their mistakes, though.

    As for having more of a problem with the media than Josh – ‘I want to be a born-again Christian’ isn’t really a shot at Deadspin.

  9. Spiff says:

    Every human has a sin nature and we all fail. To expect perfection from anyone before they can speak on a topic is shear folly. To expect them to own up to their mistakes is not unreasonable.

    Perhaps the problem is not Josh Hamilton. It seems more than probable that it may well be those who are either hostile towards Christianity or don’t understand it. To assert that being a Christian somehow allows one to act in the manner that Josh did could demonstrate either.

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