The Angels are, oddly enough, expressing disappointment in the lack of a suspension for outfielder Josh Hamilton
Imagine you’re an executive of a baseball team. One of your highest-paid players has a past full of drug and alcohol issues which he has overcome to become a successful MLB player for years. Then he has a relapse, regrettably. The league elects not to suspend him. Your reaction is:
A) support for your player
B) thankfulness to MLB for not taking considering the outfielder a repeat offender because of his troubled past
C) disappointment that the relapse happened, but confidence that your player will overcome it
or D) disappointment that your player wasn’t suspended?
Probably one of the first two, right? Maybe C?
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Hamilton’s struggles with addiction are well-documented. He was the first overall pick in the draft in 1999, but his career was derailed as he descended into a downward spiral of drugs and alcohol. Admirably, Hamilton rebounded, regained his life, and became one of the very best players in baseball for a while.
But as anyone who has faced an addiction of any kind knows, these problems never truly go away, and there’s always the risk of a relapse. Hamilton reportedly relapsed several months ago, and faced potential consequences from the league. MLB ultimately decided not to suspend or otherwise punish Hamilton. And the Angels’ public reaction is… disappointment?
Obviously, the Angels would save a decent chunk of Hamilton’s $23 million salary if he were suspended; plus, Hamilton isn’t exactly the player he once was. Maybe the Angels were hoping for some salary relief.
Private disappointment is one thing, though; coming out publicly like this, though? What purpose does this serve? They can’t possibly accomplish anything; the decision has been made. Now they’re just publicly disrespecting their player, and showing a fundamental lack of understanding of the struggles of former addicts.
The Angels should be celebrating the decision; and if they’re disappointed by it, at least have the decency to keep it to themselves. This achieves nothing except to make Carpino and company look unsympathetic and money-grabbing.
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