Yet Another Mop Up Duty Rant

Yet Another Mop Up Duty Rant

Josh Hamilton

Included in this rant: Josh Hamilton, Troy Percival and Justin Speier.

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton’s inspiring comeback story keeps getting better. During spring training, the 25-year-old outfielder got attention for the way he overcame alcohol and drug addiction. It was a wonderful tale on the human level, one that made fans stand and cheer on opening day.
The curtain calls have kept coming, but for a different reason. It turns out that Hamilton can play a little baseball, too.
After only 21 starts, Hamilton has eight homers, 17 RBIs and a .306 average.

“He’s played what, 16 or 17 games out of A ball?” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “An impressive weekend. An impressive start. He was drafted in the first round, so it’s not like he can’t play.”
Hamilton was the first overall pick in the 1999 draft, a high school player so complete and so mesmerizing that Tampa Bay envisioned him as a building block for the franchise. Instead, his addiction to crack cocaine knocked him out of the game completely for more than three years.

He got off drugs in October 2005, got his life turned around and pointed himself back toward baseball. The Devil Rays basically gave up on him, and the Reds got him through a Rule 5 draft trade. The Reds figured he would need time to get back into form.

It didn’t take him long.

Hamilton was the NL’s rookie of the month for April, and is clearly the Reds’ most complete player even though he had never faced major league pitching or played much above Class A before his addiction took over.

Now here comes my rant! I do a fair amount of surfing for baseball related content and admittedly I am intrigued and touched by this magical story that seems typical of baseball. I am utterly shocked and appalled in my searches for content and discussion on Josh Hamilton how often I see comments like “Why is Josh Hamilton a great story? You’re not supposed to do drugs, especially when you have a lot of talent and a career and something to work for. This story is a joke.”

Unbelievable! I am all for hugs as opposed to drugs butI dorecognize when a guy like that takes responsibility for changing his life, demands that we all hold him accountable for what he’s done and everything he’s going to do, and makes something of himself. We should be applauding, not just throwing “druggie” and “alcoholic”labels at him. He can be an inspiration to every kid who screwed up his life like that and thought there was no escape. Don’t we WANT people in our world to follow his current example? This is a great story and these internet basement goblins are missing it. I invite any of you said goblins to post your comments here articlulating why this story is a joke.

Troy Percival

Other notes:

Closer Troy Percival did not throw a pitch for the Tigers in 2006, but the team still awarded the former Angels reliever a full playoff share.

Percival, who is now retired, reciprocated by spending $120,000 to lease an 18-seat luxury suite in Comerica Park for players’ wives to use this season.

“I’ve never heard of anything like it,” Detroit closer Todd Jones said. “It’s the best gesture I’ve ever seen.”

Justin Speier

A touchy subject around Mop Up Duty. How bad do the Jays miss Justin Speier right now? The right-hander has stranded all 10 inherited runners in his first 11 appearances.

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has written for Mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Callum on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

  • I was reading that Hamilton gets drug tested 3 times per week. 3 times! Must suck.

    From watching a couple of Reds games vs the Pirates, Hamilton is a solid player with decent strike zone judgement, average to plus speed, good baseball instincts (surprising for his time off) and can play any of the three outfield spots (I’ve seen games with him in CF & RF).

    As to why everyone is mixed on opinons about him, that’s baseball. For some reason, the “haters” seem to come out in a large number in this sport. Maybe the old white dudes in their polo shirts need to vent their republican anger somewhere…

    Speier has been a stud in LA/ANH, and from the box scores, I think he may be #2 in the bullpen after K-Rod. It sure would be nice if the Jays had him right now. At best he could close after Frasor faltered, at worst he could replace Casey & let him move back into the rotation. I would have rather spent $3+ million on a proven commodity like Speier than throw $2+ million at the wall with Ohka, Thompson, Zambrano and hope something sticked.