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Josh Hamilton: 2013 Contract May Address Addiction

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Stories abound about professional athletes and drug treatment, alcohol treatment, and rehab, where tragedies and triumphs often occur. The complexity of athletics and addiction seems to surface uniquely when money is involved. In Major League Baseball, Texas Rangers’ sensational slugger and outfielder Josh Hamilton is a free agent and also a major risk/reward commodity for major league teams. It is uncertain what team will end up signing him, but the Josh Hamilton 2013 contract will have to take addiction and recovery into account. Hamilton has enjoyed a roller coaster ride of a MLB career in the 13 years since he was selected number one in the MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999. He showed immense promise with some monster stats produced in his first few years spent in the minor league system and prepared to enter into the “bigs” with incredible momentum and talent. But, like many professional success stories, forays into the drug and alcohol world threatened to derail his career.

Contractual Complexities and Addictions

Hamilton did not play for three seasons between 2004 and 2006 due to recurring attempts at drug treatment. After a trade to the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, then to the Texas Rangers, Hamilton had solidly entrenched himself into a productive athlete who happened to be a recovering addict. Now, after four highly successful years with the Rangers that yielded a 2010 American League MVP award, the Josh Hamilton 2013 contract is going to be scrutinized because of his age and the possible adverse effects alcohol, crack and marijuana use has had on Hamilton’s body. The complexity of the situation includes the reports that Hamilton has relapsed on two different occasions, though they appear to have been isolated and not indicative of a major setback that would be a detriment to his professional career.

Scars Heal Over Time?

Medical experts have reportedly shot down speculations that Hamilton’s crack cocaine use has affected bone density, thereby justifying some recurring injuries. One doctor discounts such theories by citing the body’s ability to repair itself. As far as cognitive ability and the affect that marijuana and alcohol has had on Hamilton, he is coming off another monster year and was in the conversation again for the American League MVP award, so it would appear that any evidence against Hamilton because of past substance abuse issues may be an untenable argument. At the same time, it does raise concerns because even though the after affects of addiction may not quantitatively play into the Josh Hamilton 2013 contract talk (because of on-field successes, e.g. performance and general statistics), it is undisputed that addiction and alcoholism does have some type of qualitative effect on a person, no matter how well they bounce back. It is encouraging that Hamilton continues to fight as hard as he plays in his recovery, and is an inspiration to all those people trying to make a comeback in whatever they do.

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