Earlier this hour, Josh Hamilton spoke to the media about the reports that broke last night indicating he’d been drinking Monday night at a Dallas bar. Here is a link to the full transcript of Hamilton’s statement, which he spoke without notes.
I listened to the entire press conference and came away impressed with Hamilton’s honesty and willingness to take accountability, and also a nagging feeling that he needs to take the next step and go away from baseball for a bit and focus on nothing but his sobriety.
I wrote about this earlier today (read here) before the press conference as well, touching on a number of different angles of the story. After listening to Hamilton, I feel even stronger about the words I closed that post with:
The report about Hamilton’s relapse, if true, reminds us of the humanity that made him such a compelling figure in the first place.
To err is human; to err so egregiously, to allegedly relapse with so much on the line, is also human, as anyone who can empathize with the plight of the addict knows.
As a baseball fan, I sure hope what happened Monday doesn’t interfere with my ability to watch Josh Hamilton play baseball.
But as a human, I don’t care really about the baseball. I just want to see this husband, father, and beloved inspiration to so many who need it, lift himself up and away from the abyss through the sheer force of his will and faith – which is ultimately what it takes.
Get well Josh Hamilton. But get help, again.
Even if this is a recently isolated incident, nip it in the bud. Take nothing for granted. Respect the destructive power you know your demos have.
No one needs to or should stop rooting for Josh Hamilton; but none of us should enable him either, even from far.
Hamilton certainly seems to understand the gravity of the situation, and he spoke numerous times about having hurt his wife and alluded to some potential issues there. Who knows. Only the Hamiltons know, and only they know how those kind of extenuating circumstances might affect a more drastic move by Hamilton to step away from it all and get serious help again.
Whatever the reality, I just hope Josh can minimize the relapses in the future. And I give him major kudos for speaking up today and continuing to be accountable publicly for his recovery effort.