Josh Hamilton said that if he ever slipped up, the entire country would know about it and he would be labeled a hypocrite. Everyone knows about it alright, but it only seems to make his inspiring inspiration even more inspirational.
Just as there was a Lesson, with a capital L, to be learned in Josh Hamilton's recovery from alcohol and drugs, there is an equally important Lesson to be learned in his near-downfall, according to pretty much everyone who has written about it. No one is angry, no one is sad, no one is laughing with the delight of schadenfreude, they are just "Disappointed." (With a capital D.)
"Josh Hamilton is human" in case you didn't know. He confessed immediately to his family, his coaches and his God. He blames no one but himself, which is both forthright and impressive from today's athlete. No one's faith has been shaken, because Josh's hasn't been either. Even the "Josh Hamilton Sucks" forum is filled with positive messages. Everyone has his back.
Jay Mariotti's heart "sank" when he heard the news. He is not angry. (Although he maybe blames Johnny Narron.) People with addiction are never not addicted, as you have also been reminded. It's a lifelong struggle, and Hambone's struggle will continue to unfold in front of us.
And that's good, because the Josh Hamilton story has been too triumphant to implode now. Sport needs it. America needs it.
The other thing everyone agrees on is that no matter what Hamilton did in that bar, he's still better than the people who photographed it and passed them around. Like the "scum-laden photographer" whose karmic debt will soon be paid. The "Jezebels"—and not the good kind—who seduced and encouraged the unsuspecting innocent. (Seriously, this guy basically just called them whores.) And let's not forget the "gotcha web sites" (i.e., the one you're reading) that wallow in others misery. The internet is a bigger cesspool then Maloney's, but don't worry. We'll get ours.
That's how you handle a world that puts a camera in your keyhole, that demands the end of your privacy and free will because you happen to do something well. You look it right in the eye and make it blink, as all cowards do.
But Hamilton didn't seem interested in revenge. Besides, he has a much more menacing enemy, the one that wrestles for control of his impulses.
He's talking about The Devil. It's good to know that bloggers still rate below him on the evil scale.
Texas Rangers' Hamilton's story of salvation adds a chapter [Dallas Morning News]
Hamilton displays more character than those who exposed his weakness [OC Register]
Hamilton's stumble only says his story is unfinished [Star-Telegram]
Josh Hamilton's Triumphant Tale Too Special to Implode Now [Jay Mariotti]
The Roar of the Crowd [The Takeaway]