If Josh Hamilton is Like the Rest of us, I Forgive Him

There are some salacious rumors going around right now about Josh Hamilton.

I really, really hope that they’re not true. But if they are–I forgive the guy.

For Christmas I came across Hamilton’s book Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back at the book store and decided it would make a great Christmas gift for my wife. Hamilton is her only athlete crush and I think the book probably has some really good life lessons about overcoming adversity that she could apply to her own life. Besides, when she’s finished with it I could definitely use the lessons that Hamilton has learned to apply to my own; I thought.

Before we even crack the book open and start turning pages, the Hamilton relapse story broke. It wasn’t the first time that Hamilton had slipped up. Any addict knows there is a better than even chance that it won’t be the last time. It’s unfortunate, and I hope it goes away quietly and the guy is only involved in subjects pertaining to his play soon enough.

But if Hamilton really was guilty of the things that are being rumored–and I’m not making any excuses for him–I sympathize and feel sorry for him in the same way that I do a figure like Darryl Strawberry.

In so many ways we are nothing like super-human athlete Josh Hamilton. He can hit a ball like only a few people that have walked this earth could. He can abuse his body and still be in absolutely freakish shape. He hits home runs in the World Series that should clinch championships. But in one way, we’re all like Josh Hamilton. We try, and we try again; and yet we fail because we are weak, because we are imperfect, and because we are human.

Try as we may to push the heavy rock up the hill–we will most certainly fall many times before reaching the top. Many of us sit there at the bottom of the hill and we look at the rock, wondering how we had came so close to reaching the top but we lacked the strength to gain the proper footing to get the rock all the way up to the top. We sit there for a while, and we might even sit in misery; disgusted with ourselves that we have failed. But I know what I will do–and I think I know what Hamilton will do. That rock will be picked up again and when the time is right he’ll head back up the hill in search for the top, hoping one day he can find the perfect route to get there, carrying the full weight on him.

I still admire the guy because in one small way I see my own struggles within his. Anyone who doesn’t is either a better person than I am because they’ve never fallen back into habits they wished to escape or never had them to begin with. I’m simply not that fortunate. And there’s no rhyme or apparent reason as to why we are not successful no matter how much we desire to be.

I’ve always been a big fan of Josh Hamilton the ballplayer. Right now I’m really pulling for Josh Hamilton the person.