Josh Hamilton currently has 17 home runs. That is five better than his nearest competition, Matt Kemp and Carlos Beltran. Obviously Hamilton's had a pretty good week. After hitting four home runs in one game, Hamilton had two more last night against the Angels—adding another layer to the fun game Things That Are More Than The Number Of Home Runs Albert Pujols Has This Year—Josh Hamilton has more multi-home run games than Albert Pujols has home runs.
Hamilton's hot streak continued after a nearly two hour rain delay in the first inning that finished Angels starter and questionable pranker C.J. Wilson for the night while his replacement, Yu Darvish, came back to work five and a third innings, striking out seven.
But no one cares about C.J. Wilson or Yu Darvish right now. Josh Hamilton is slugging better than Alex Rodriguez is OPS-ing. It's still early and it helps those numbers when you have a week in which you hit eight home runs in five games, but the free agent-to be is making quite a case in his walk year.
And that is where we come crashing back down to reality. It is undeniable that Hamilton is a rare talent deserving of big money. But it is also undeniable that he is a liability. Addiction is a mess and not an easy fix—the man upstairs, notwithstanding—so these hiccups are likely something that Hamilton and whatever team signs him will have to deal with for the rest of his career. Teams are expected to pay up for all the ancillary benefits players bring off the field—Jersey sales, good will, butts in the seats, etc. It stands to reason that a player should have to pay (or in this case, discount) for the reverse.
Hamilton, however, is not the normal off-field-problem-player. Maybe it is because of the type of off field problems he has faced, his unquestionably good-guy demeanor or, more likely, that he murders baseballs, but people love themselves some Josh Hamilton. It's hard for a gifted superstar athlete to be considered a sympathetic figure, but one gets the feeling that is exactly how many view Hamilton.
Still, booze is expensive and Hamilton may find out just how so this winter. Luckily for us, that's a YP, Josh. We can just sit back and watch him make that magic and that fucking heart and soul all summer.
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