The Josh Hamilton Redemption Tour Hits Katy

Categories: Baseball, Sports

Josh Hamilton.jpg
Fresh off its Friday afternoon debut performance, the Josh Hamilton Redemption Tour made its second appearance on Friday night inside Katy's Merrell Center. And if Nolan Ryan and/or Jon Daniels were paying attention to anything said, then they should seriously be thinking about just how much money, if any, they want to invest in Hamilton once his contract expires after the upcoming season.

It needs to be said that Josh Hamilton probably didn't have to make his appearance on Friday night. He was booked for KSBJ's "Born To Be Wild: The Man Journey Featuring Josh Hamilton" way before his most recent adventures with alcohol last Monday. And while the event, featuring a bad comic and a Christian rock band, was billed around Hamilton discussing how God has helped him navigate the evils of drugs and alcohol, it would have been understandable if he were to have bailed on the event while getting a better grip on his own personal demons.

But after making an appearance before the Metroplex media on Friday afternoon -- an event he likened to the Rangers signing of Yu Darvish -- Hamilton, with special guest Lance Berkman, stepped out before an adoring crowd of boys and men and kind of spoke about his problems while touting God.

"Handling what I've had to handle today, fessing up, being a man about it, standing up," he said. "People will call me a hypocrite, but I'm just a sinful man. Left to my own strength, left to my own will, my own power, what I want to do when I take control back is, I make mistakes. And apart from Christ, on a daily basis, I make a lot of mistakes."

That's about all Hamilton was willing to say about falling off of the wagon last week, and the guy asking questions didn't seem to feel that it mattered. What seemed to matter to Hamilton, the questioner, Berkman, and the crowd, was that Hamilton believed in God and believed that God would show him the so-called way.

And here's the part that should trouble Ryan and Daniels and the rest of the Texas Rangers' front office and team. Hamilton just seems to accept that falling off of the wagon is going to happen whenever he's left to his own devices, but that it really doesn't matter because God will forgive him.

"It's just awesome to know that I'm going to screw up, but God's going to be right there besides me and pick me up and hold me and carry me through what we're going through," Hamilton said. "He's not going to leave your side. When you feel like you're separated from God, you have left him, he has not left you."

There's a lot to admire about the Josh Hamilton story. He's one of those naturally gifted ballplayers to whom the game of baseball comes effortlessly. He suffered a serious non-baseball-related injury, fell into drugs and alcohol while dealing with his rehab, and finally missed three years of play due to addiction and suspensions. He fought his way back to baseball and has become a major league star.

But for all of that, is he a man who should be admired? A man who should be met by an adoring throng of Christian boys and men and held up as a spiritual leader? Does anybody out there remember Steve Howe, a former Dodger relief pitcher who succumbed to addiction time and time and time and time again, and was met with MLB suspension time and time again while flaming out with the Dodgers, Rangers, Yankees, and other various teams?

Darryl Strawberry's addictions were used as a warning. He wasn't held up as a person to emulate. He was turned into an object of derision. The guy who had it all but wasted it all and let it all slip away.

And if Howe or Strawberry had made a statement about it all not really mattering because God would be there no matter what, would baseball fans have embraced them like they embrace Hamilton? Would they have celebrated the return to baseball of a guy who basically said he's going to fall off the wagon as soon as the season ends and there's nothing more for him to worry about?

The Josh Hamilton Redemption Tour made its scheduled stop in Katy on Friday night. Hamilton made a statement of remorse, then joked around with Berkman about the World Series and baseball while speaking of his spiritual journey. But ultimately, what seemed to be missing was the regret and feelings of true remorse.

Hamilton's an addict. And addicts relapse. But it seemed as if there should be something more. Instead of accepting that he's going to drink the next time there's nothing for him to do but that it's all going to be okay because of God, shouldn't he be struggling more. Shouldn't he be trying to not fall off that wagon again?

It's not just Josh Hamilton's life after all. It's also the life of his family. The life of all of those who were inside the Merrell Center worshipping him. And it's also the lives of his teammates, Jon Daniels, and Nolan Ryan.


Follow Hair Balls News on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
Quannell
Quannell

screw it come on over we'll do some lines and get drunk as hell but no driving

GNJ
GNJ

DeadSpin LOVES this guy!  

---Devil wears Prada---
---Devil wears Prada---

How can an imaginary being have anything to do with this? Fuck, the guy is addicted to alcohol. He fucked up, so... He needs to get straight with himself. He's a human being and saw a delicious beverage he knows that will spiral him down into a world of hookers and blow. Sure it's fun, but his brain forgets the bad stuff. We call this a relapse. Not "the devil tempting him". Quit using "GOD" as a crutch and get your life together. 

Now "pray for me", what the fuck ever. Spend your time helping the poor or giving to the needy. B/C on your knees "praying" to an imaginary being is wasting your time and giving you arthritis. 

-

lovable
lovable

Well written commentary. However, you missed the one key thing that Hamilton said.  "Left to my own strength, left to my own will, my own power, what I want to do when I take control back is, I make mistakes. And apart from Christ, on a daily basis, I make a lot of mistakes."

That is the key as a Christian. In that statement, he took responsibility, humbled himself and noted what he needs to do in the future to avoid falling off the wagon again. What you are calling a lack of remorse is really the Christian freedom from condemnation. Instead of succumbing to shame, he understands he is forgiven and accepts that forgiveness. Instead of giving up hope because of his own failures, he places his life in God's hands.

We all fall, and of course those stepping out for God will be prime targets for a fall. How wonderful to see him willing to stand up, admit his mistakes and be an example to others so soon after a fall. That says a lot to me about his faith.

Melody
Melody

Obviously the writer does not have the same understanding of a personal relationship that Josh does.  I pray that he at least has one.  The people in the center were NOT worshipping Josh.  They were there to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Andrew Ferraro
Andrew Ferraro

Have to agree with the first commenter ... very good, well-written take. But I strongly disagree with one of the last few paragraphs (quoted right here):

"Instead of accepting that he's going to drink the next time there's nothing for him to do but that it's all going to be okay because of God, shouldn't he be struggling more. Shouldn't he be trying to not fall off that wagon again?" 

You either missed the entire point, or you are using this space to take a jab at Christians. Hamilton never said it is OK for him to hurt his family and have a relapse with no consequences to God and to society. He acknowledged that he did screw up, and that when he does he has his relationship with God to help him get through that each time.  

And you went on to write: 

"Shouldn't he be trying to not fall off that wagon again?" 

Listen to your quotes again ... Of course he is trying "to not fall off the wagon again ..." He spoke in great length about what he does, through Christ, to prevent a relapse. He quotes a bible verse over and over until his bad thoughts go away. Being a Christian is not about having God in your life and thinking that you are excused from every sin. It's about (genuinely) asking for forgiveness and asking for help to be a better person through Him. 

I thought Hamilton was very candid, showed remorse and took full responsibility through his actions. As for whether or not he was truly remorseful? Well, that is for only he and God to know. And if he is lying about that, considering all he talked about Friday, that is a far greater sin that any drinking problem to God. 

And for all of you out there wondering why it is so wonderful to have God in your life ... well, just read  (again) this quote by Hamilton. It is 100% true.

"It's just awesome to know that I'm going to screw up, but God's going to be right there besides me and pick me up and hold me and carry me through what we're going through. He's not going to leave your side."

justonemore
justonemore

When you are ready, you are ready. If you have not completely smashed the idea that you can use or drink like a normal person you are destined to continue to belly-up and give it a shot. Once you've ben armed with the information on your disease, it's your responsibility what you do with it. Try to avoid the easy cop-out Josh.  

Farmstros
Farmstros

I appreciated your take on this event, John.  As a Christian, it IS great to have God's forgiveness when we screw up.  Yet, I sure hope Hamilton isn't giving in to his temptations simply because he knows he will be forgiven.  The way the event went(according to your description), I see how that could be the preception.

John Royal
John Royal

It was not my intent to jab anyone. I do think, however, that because of his faith he's being given a pass that others with these same type problems don't receive when they suffer a relapse. It's just not his life he's screwing around with here. Not only does his family have to deal with his mistakes, but what he does also impacts 24 teammates, a coaching staff, a front office, and an owner who are all dependent on his keeping himself together.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...