Spring training for baseball is just about over, it is that time for real games to take place, and there is excitement in the air. The writer has been a baseball fan since a very young age. In saying this, I know the game has changed drastically throughout the years and is a huge money making business for not only the owners but the players also. Loyalties generally lie with where the biggest paycheck can come from. That does not mean that a person cannot dream of some sort of allegiance to the team the players are with now. With that in mind, this writer was taken aback and outright shocked when I read this quote:
Josh Hamilton: "I don't owe the Rangers anything"
Now before we get into why this shocked me, let us look at a timeline of Josh Hamilton’s career so far.
1999 – Drafted first overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2001 – Injuries and drug addiction started to derail a once promising career. Actually took two years off to deal with personal issues.
2007 – Selected by the Chicago Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft. Sold to the Cincinnati Reds where he went on to have a great rookie campaign but not enough for the Reds to keep him as he was traded to the Texas Rangers at the end of the year.
2008: 2011 – Outfielder for the Texas Rangers where Josh Hamilton has been to the All Star game, put up excellent numbers , AL MVP 2010. He also has been on the disabled list each year that he has been a professional with ailments such as bruised ribs to a fractured humerus.
Now with us all seeing a streamlined timeline on Josh Hamilton’s career let us look at this quote again. Since the day he was drafted, Josh Hamilton has been given up on by no less than three teams due to his on and off field issues. Josh Hamilton has openly admitted his addictions and how strong they are. It is the fourth team that has given him a chance to shine.
His teammates have gotten into the habit of making sure they have ginger-ale parties when they are in the playoffs. The front office has supported him unconditionally when Josh Hamilton has fallen off the wagon such as in 2009 and early 2012. The Texas Rangers has made sure that there is a person that travels with him during the season to make sure that issues do not happen. It is the equivalent of a babysitter for an adult.
Now, it does have to be pointed out that Josh Hamilton does go around as a speaker and gives his story in an effort to keep people off the same addiction that he has. For this, he is truly an inspiration.
Now as for the quote, Josh Hamilton is right. The Texas Rangers do not owe him anything. Only the fact that most teams wanted nothing to do with him, have stuck with him long enough to make him a household name, and made him a multi millionaire. Therefore, in this writer’s opinion, Josh Hamilton only owes them in a contract year everything he has now.
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