Thursday, November 8, 2012

Josh Hamilton - Leadership and Struggles

Josh Hamilton is the top free agent in Major League Baseball and this off-season will put the Mariners right at the forefront of the rumor mill. Why? It's no question that the Mariners need offense, and, the Mariners have money to spend. The Mariners were thought to be in the hunt for Prince Fielder last year and were even rumored to be a leading candidate at one point, but, in the end nothing materialized.

Thus far, the Baltimore Orioles and the Mariners are the teams that are rumored to have been pursuing Hamilton. I'm sure that just about every team has interest in Hamilton and a lot of teams would put him in their lineup in a heartbeat.

So where are all these other teams?

Many teams already know they cannot afford the price it will take to bring such a star to their hometown and therefore will not even show up to play. Other teams may have the money but won't pay a high price for a high risk player. Hamilton has been on and off the field every season with injuries but for the most part, he's been on the field. Still others could be worried about the possibility of Hamilton not being a team leader. At what could amount to $25 million per year, teams want a leader in their clubhouse, not a problem.

We all know that Josh Hamilton has tremendous ability and is a great player. We all know that he can produce at the plate and that he would be a tremendous asset to the Mariners on the field. The question about Hamilton as of late has been more about what happens off the field.

Josh Hamilton had some major struggles with drugs and alcohol as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. Since coming clean about his addictions and spending time away from the game for a bit, he has done really well. Really well? Some may say that's not the case considering that he has had a couple of different media splashes while with the Rangers. For Hamilton, this has been a real problem and he has made the choice himself to stay away from drugs and alcohol all together. The problems that we see thrown around in the media are times when Hamilton goes out and starts drinking and goes too far. This is a problem for Josh and a problem for his family.

Josh Hamilton has taken it upon himself to remain accountable for his actions. He has made a commitment to his family and his team to stay clear of these actions and the media has had a hay day with his struggles and have mocked his weaknesses.

So, why do I talk about these things? There are a lot of players in the MLB that live this type of lifestyle in every city they play in. Players that live the life of a star and drink a lot and do stupid things on a nightly basis, the difference is, their moral compass doesn't lead them to say it's not okay. Their standards don't lead them to a place of being accountable, especially for actions they don't see as wrong. Josh does.

I conclude by saying this; Josh Hamilton, in my opinion is a man. A man that has struggles and a man that has failures. More importantly, Josh Hamilton is a man that is willing to step up and admit his failures despite what it may cost him in the spotlight. So when we question whether or not Hamilton is a leader, I revert to his struggles and watch how he handles himself as a husband, as a father and as a man and I can see Hamilton being more of a leader than most.


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