Josh Hamilton of the Los Angeles Angels has had a relapse during the offseason involving cocaine and alcohol. Hamilton has had a steep history of substance abuse stemming from his minor league days. He was suspended for over two years for violating the substance abuse policy and was out of baseball for nearly four years.
Hamilton met with MLB officials to inform him of his relapse during the offseason. This is a good first step on the road to recovery for Hamilton in the sense that he is seeking help. The roller coaster career of Hamilton continues to take its twists and turns. This is a time for his teammates to rally behind him, but not from a baseball standpoint, but from a personal standpoint. Angels’ center fielder Mike Trout, who is arguably the face of baseball, is in full support of his teammate.
Trout talked about Hamilton being a great guy to have in the clubhouse and considered him family, due to the two of them both playing the outfield. He said he wishes Hamilton nothing but the best and hopes he gets through it. This is what Hamilton needs, from a plethora of people, especially his teammates who he spends multiple days and months with during the year. I personally have never gone through addiction issues, but have watched friends go through it. The best thing for a friend or a teammate to do is be supportive. At times it is best to give space with the occasional offering of support. That can go a long way, as I’ve witnessed first-hand. Addiction is one of the hardest things for people to beat and the more support given usually leads to the overcoming of addiction.
As far as baseball is concerned, Hamilton will be suspended, but the amount of games has yet to be determined. So what will be next for Hamilton once his suspension is up? That is ultimately up to Hamilton, but maybe taking a step away from the game would be best for him. Perhaps a full year off will be exactly what Hamilton needs. The 33-year old has some years left in the tank, which hopefully he can one day return to the field. Or maybe getting back to baseball will be what Hamilton needs. In the end, that all depends on what Hamilton wants and decides to do.
I hope that Josh Hamilton can overcome this and wish him all the luck in the world to do so.