MLB To Decide On Josh Hamilton’s Punishment By Opening Day

by Collin Budd | Posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2015
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A decision on Los Angeles Angels outfield Josh Hamilton may be coming soon, according to the Associated Press who reported that new Commission Rob Manfred is expected to have a disciplinary decision for the outfielder by Opening Day.

Hamilton, 33, is expected to be sidelined until May due to shoulder surgery and is now awaiting MLB’s decision on if he will be suspended following his self-reported alcohol and cocaine relapse this offseason. According to the Los Angeles Times, Major League Baseball is in a deadlock with the Players Association about the course of action to take with the Angels outfielder. While the league is arguing for a suspension anywhere between 25 games and possibly one year, the MLBPA is arguing for a much more lenient 15-20 game suspension and enrolling Hamilton in a rehab program for substance abuse. Whichever punishment is handed down, if Hamilton is assigned to a rehab program he will be eligible to receive his full salary for the first 30 days and then half his pay for the next 30 days. An arbitrator has been assigned to help alleviate the stalemate.

Josh Hamilton remains as MLB’s cautionary tale of how drugs and alcohol can derail not only one’s career but also their life. This newest development just serves as a stark reminder of the troubles that have followed the former MVP off the field. Should Hamilton be allowed to play in 2015, he will be attempting to overcome a dismal 2014 season. While the Angles coaching staff will try to determine how to get Hamilton, the player, back to his peak performance, Hamilton’s friend and mentor Roy Silver isn’t concerned about his friend’s playing career.

In an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today Silver said “[Hamilton] needs to get his life back in order. Even three years ago, I told Josh that you might want to consider retirement. It seems like he’s struggling with things. When you’ve been given three, four and five chances, and it’s still not working, it’s best to say ‘This is it’”.

Hamilton’s off the field decisions ultimately will stand in the way of him ever having the career he had pictured when he was drafted 1st overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999. His baseball legacy will forever be tarnished by the pull and horrors of addiction and future generations will cite Hamilton as an example of how personal demons can wreck or destroy your baseball dreams. But as Silver mentioned in his interview with Nightengale life is much more than baseball and sometimes sacrifices must be made in order to better one’s self.

“His life isn’t over, but his baseball career should be.”


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Collin Budd
About the Author

Freelance writer covering the MLB since 2011. Senior Writer for Baseball Hot Corner. Lover of all things except spiders and those who believe a hot dog is not a sandwich.

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