The Josh Hamilton impasse with the Texas Rangers got me thinking, do people really get second chances? Or is it that people want you around as long as they can take advantage? For those that don’t know, Josh Hamilton is a recovering drug addict. He returned to baseball and has been a model citizen since he returned to MLB. He did have a few lapses where he had drinks, but that is understandable in my opinion because it was around a time that he had hand in a man dying in front of his son I don’t know about you, but that would affect me, and it is a testament to his strength that he didn’t fall off the wagon at that point. But he kept playing and continued excelling until the end of this season, when it became apparent that the Rangers were not going to keep him. People will talk about how the second half of the year was bad, but I think his second half of the season is all on Rangers management because they have tried to tarnish his reputation to lower his value. Rangers Team President, Nolan Ryan, went as far as to blame Hamilton’s second half swoon on him quitting chewing smokeless tobacco during games. I guess that is how the Rangers support their star player, and I am sure the fact that the team didn’t want to pay him had nothing to do with it.
When Hamilton first returned, it was a feel good story about second chances, but now I question that. Hamilton got a second chance because he is supremely talented at what he does. If you look at it objectively, anyone, who gets a second chance, must have something going for them where the potential upside outweighs whatever they had done. The Rangers were nothing before Hamilton got there, but they went to consecutive World Series with him, and were serious contenders. But now that it is time to pay him, they have complaints about him. The Rangers loved Hamilton at a bargain price, but they don’t want to pay him what he is worth. Hamilton gave himself a second chance at life by getting clean, but the Rangers never really gave him a second chance. In hindsight, you have to wonder the motive behind the reporting of Hamilton drinking at a bar. I’m sure teams cover up way worse things that players do, so why did that story have to get out? The Rangers don’t want to pay, but they don’t want him to leave so they are trying to lower his value. It’s a dirty game; the only second chances you get are the ones you give yourself because no one is giving nothing unless something is in it for them.