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minus5
02-19-2007, 07:02 PM
from John Fay's blog:

http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/redsinsider/2007/02/on-josh-hamilton.asp

Josh Hamilton's press conference was about as captivating as those things get. It lasted 45 minutes. Hamilton told the story of his slide into the darkness of drug addiction. About 20 members of the media showed up.

I'm in midst of writing my tome. I hope I do it justice.

From a baseball standpoint, the question is: Can Hamilton still play?

The Reds are guessing yes.

ďI donít think thereís anybody here (in Reds camp) with the combination of power and speed and throwing arm,Ē Reds manager Jerry Narron said. ďBut itís a very, very difficult game to play. He hasnít been able to play the last couple of years. Thereís some rust there. Weíll see how close he is.Ē

Pete Mackanin, the Reds major league advance scout, was fairly effusive after throwing Hamitlon batting practice:

"When you throw BP to these guys, thereís a certain zone they have over the plate, where they hit with more authority. The thing that impressed me the most is he didnít have one. Anywhere you threw it Ė up and in, low and away Ė he handled it and stayed on top of the ball.

"His approach was outstanding. Having never seen him before, I was extremely impressed with what I saw. I know itís only one day in spring training.

ďI hate to get excited in the spring. But, boy oh boy, you have to like what I saw."

The Reds have a support system set up for Hamilton, namely Johnny Narron, who's known Hamilton since he was 8.

You've got to root for the guy. If you catch video of the press conference, you'll see a warm, engaging person -- albeit with quite a history.



I can't wait to see this guy

Jpup
02-19-2007, 07:04 PM
I have my fingers crossed. :)

vaticanplum
02-19-2007, 07:05 PM
Don't know if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but the Enquirer this morning said he's been slamming balls out in Florida -- thirty feet over the fence.

It's quite early yet, but reading it made me kind of tingly anyway. I forgot that power hitters were allowed on the Reds.

Tommyjohn25
02-19-2007, 07:08 PM
You know, when th Reds first got this guy I really just kind of shrugged it off as nothing to get excited about, I now find myself getting more and more anxious to see what this guy can bring to the table. Good luck to you Josh.

Jpup
02-19-2007, 07:08 PM
I forgot that power hitters were allowed on the Reds.

Adam Dunn
Ken Griffey Jr.
David Ross
Bronson Arroyo ;)

pedro
02-19-2007, 07:09 PM
It really has the makings of a great long shot comeback story. I hope he does well.

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2007, 07:13 PM
Ya know, the Reds have a history of developing low risk/high reward outfielders into very good players, albeit some only lasted a season or two. Examples include Alex Ochoa, Jeffry Hammonds, Juan Encarnacion, Jose Guillen, Wily Mo Pena, and even Ryan Freel. Hopefully Hamilton is the next.

vaticanplum
02-19-2007, 07:20 PM
Ya know, the Reds have a history of developing low risk/high reward outfielders into very good players, albeit some only lasted a season or two. Examples include Alex Ochoa, Jeffry Hammonds, Juan Encarnacion, Jose Guillen, Wily Mo Pena, and even Ryan Freel. Hopefully Hamilton is the next.

I think OBM has died and been replaced by a talking ray of sunshine.

Redskinalum02
02-19-2007, 07:27 PM
The only thing that worries me is Josh Hamilton turning into WMP from a couple years ago when all he did was occupy a spot on the pine because he looked so overmatched when he got his sporadic at-bats.

Chip R
02-19-2007, 07:27 PM
I just hope this doesn't become a thing every time the Reds go to a new city this season - that is if he makes the team.

keeganbrick
02-19-2007, 07:31 PM
Looks like a very powerful man.

justincredible
02-19-2007, 07:47 PM
It really has the makings of a great long shot comeback story. I hope he does well.

:beerme:

BigRed
02-19-2007, 08:03 PM
If Hamilton makes it into an every day player, this will be the kind of story that someone will make a movie out of. Outstanding story. It sounds like he has all of the tools. I can't wait to see him.

11larkin11
02-19-2007, 08:14 PM
I think the rust is a bit too much, but I'm really hoping that he is the PTBNL from the Harris trade. I think going to AAA for awhile will be great for him, and better than being a WMP on the bench. Except when he comes up, Deno becomes WMP, at least until Griffey leaves. Or maybe Deno becomes trade bait. But who knows, I'm really hoping Hamilton comes through and is a great OF for us.

Unassisted
02-19-2007, 08:18 PM
I just hope this doesn't become a thing every time the Reds go to a new city this season - that is if he makes the team.

OTOH, having to retell the stories of his trip to hell and back over and over to throngs of eager beat writers could be just the thing young Josh needs to keep himself clean and sober. It certainly won't hurt his self-esteem, either.

Since the Reds have assigned him a "keeper" who is the manager's brother, I think he has a very good shot of staying on he wagon.

dunner13
02-19-2007, 08:43 PM
I think unless he gets injured or just has a horrible spring hes staying with the reds. And I think Narron would just love for hamilton to give him an excuse to hand him the starting RF job. He has the talent to be the best player on this team, if he puts it together this year it would make Krivskys career. He would forever be known as the GM who got Josh Hamilton as a rule 5 pick.

Sham
02-19-2007, 08:50 PM
For some people, staying straight is hard. Being a drug addict does not make you a bad person, it just makes life much harder than it should be.

kaldaniels
02-19-2007, 09:16 PM
I don't know how to set up a poll...but let me ask...yes or no, does Hamilton stay on the 25 man roster all year. (Of course it depends somewhat/alot on performance...I would just like to see your predictions.)

lollipopcurve
02-19-2007, 09:16 PM
No one should doubt the talent this kid came into professional ball with. At the same time, as Narron said, it's a very difficult game, and he hasn't played for years. I doubt very much he could do well for the Reds this year. Give him 500 ABs in the minors, though, and I think he's a legitimate factor in 08, if he keeps his head on straight.
He easily has the potential to be the best position player Rule V pick since George Bell.

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2007, 09:18 PM
I think OBM has died and been replaced by a talking ray of sunshine.

I'll remain this way only until the Reds fall behind by a run or two on Opening Day...and then the season will be over. :D But seriously, I am very pumped about this season. This may be the most optomistic I've been since the beginning of the 2000 season.

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2007, 09:21 PM
Links to the press conf. on the link I provided below.

Hamilton walks hard road to Reds camp
Outfielder speaks candidly about past troubles, second chance
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The temptation for Josh Hamilton to go back to drugs lessens a little bit more every day.

But, it's definitely still there -- even if it's just in the dark recesses of his mind.

"Occasionally, I'll have a dream about using," Hamilton said. "I used to have dreams about using where I actually used. But now, the drug test guys are in my dream with me. I have the choice to either take the test or use. So far, I've been taking the test."

There will be other kinds of tests facing Hamilton over the next six weeks. Out of baseball for most of the last four years because of injuries and drug suspensions, the 25-year-old has been given probably the best chance of what have been many second chances.

Hamilton is trying to make the Reds' 25-man roster this spring as a Rule 5 Draft pick. It's the closest to the Major Leagues the outfielder has ever been. Only, this isn't a free pass and there will be no special treatment.

"If we don't think he can help us at the Major League level, there's a good chance he won't be here," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.

When Hamilton, with his sweet left-handed swing, first burst on the pro baseball scene as the first overall pick in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft, it was expected he'd often face a large media horde eager to talk about his great abilities on the field.

Fast forward seven years later to Monday, and Hamilton was indeed holding a press conference with a large assembly of media. However, baseball ability was the secondary topic to the drug use that once consumed, and very nearly destroyed, his life.

"There were many times I thought I'd never play again, just because of the lifestyle I had been living," Hamilton said. "Nobody can do anything productive out of what I was doing. There were definitely times I felt down and like I'd never get back to doing the thing I loved. God's grace got me here today."

Because of the glut of media requests the Reds media relations office received, it was the only time in Spring Training Hamilton would be talking about off-the-field issues. He welcomed the scrutiny and spoke openly.

"You guys help me out more than you know," Hamilton said. "When you're in recovery, they say you need to have people around you that hold you accountable for what you do. You guys hold me accountable at a national level."

The downward spiral
Ironically, it was in Bradenton, Fla., one town over and just a few miles from the Reds' Sarasota complex where Hamilton first found trouble. In 2001, he and his parents were injured in a car accident that left Hamilton on the disabled list with a bad back. His parents returned home to North Carolina to recover.

For the first time in his life, Hamilton was unable to play baseball and was alone, without his protective parents. He still had plenty of money in his pocket from his $3.96 million signing bonus as the Rays' No. 1 draft pick.

It helped form a perfect storm of personal destruction.

After his morning workouts at the ballpark completed each day and left him with idle time, Hamilton began hanging out in tattoo shops in bad parts of town. Eventually, most of his 6-foot-4 body was covered in permanent ink. It was with the friends he made at these establishments that he experimented with alcohol and eventually graduated to cocaine and then crack cocaine.

"I made bad choices," Hamilton said. "I went looking for something I shouldn't have to fill that void that was there. The choices I made were my choices. They weren't the best choices. I learned from it."

From 2003 until the summer of 2006, Hamilton was completely out of baseball because of his drug use. Numerous efforts to clean up only resulted in numerous relapses. He became estranged from his parents and for a while was separated from his wife, Katie, and their two young children.

"It's a vicious cycle," said Hamilton. "When you're involved in drug use and alcohol abuse, you look for anything to set you off to drink over or use over. I'd be fine for a month and then something would happen and I'd go back to using. It was a cycle that kept repeating itself."

Rock bottom for Hamilton came on Oct. 6, 2005, when he dropped in at the home of his grandmother, Mary Holt, in North Carolina.

"The biggest low point was showing up at my grandmother's house at 180 pounds, I'm 230 pounds now, and facing her," Hamilton said. "She welcomed me with open arms. She really wanted me to stop using, and I wanted to stop using. But when I lived there the first couple of weeks, I used a couple of times. One time, she knew I was using. She said she couldn't take it anymore. I was hurting people I loved. I was making them worry. My grandmother seeing me like that was the turning point."

Hamilton said that was the last time he's been high.

Recovery
With the help of Katie and his father-in-law, Michael, a drug counselor that often speaks with high school and college teams, Hamilton began the long road to permanent recovery.

"He's been down the same road I've been through to a certain extent," Hamilton said of his father-in-law. "He never judged me. There were times I'm sure he wanted to choke me or beat me down. But he just loved on me. He's a great man and somebody I look up to today."

By the winter of 2005-06, Hamilton came into contact with former Rays Minor League manager Roy Silver. Silver owned and operated a baseball clinic called Winning Inning out of Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Fla. It was the Phillies' former Spring Training complex.

In a far departure from his high-profile draft selection and promising pro career, Hamilton was allowed to come and work for Winning Inning. He did not receive any pay and lived at the stadium. In exchange for his work, he was allowed to hit in the cages and talk with the coaches.

"I had chores. I worked. I did field maintenance, cut grass, cut trees, took out trash and cleaned toilets," Hamilton said. "If I didn't do those things, I couldn't play ball."

On June 30, 2006, Hamilton was cleared to return to play for the Rays organization. He played 15 games for low Class A Hudson Valley before a knee injury cut short the comeback.

The best chance ever
In the fall, when Major League clubs needed to protect players on their 40-man rosters, Hamilton was not protected by Tampa Bay. It left him exposed to the Rule 5 Draft in December.

Very quietly, the Reds began doing their due diligence on Hamilton. Senior director of scouting Chris Buckley, who lives in the Tampa Bay area, first tipped general manager Wayne Krivsky. Eventually, the consensus in the organization built.

"We decided there was no one in the Rule 5 Draft that compared to Josh in terms of raw ability," Krivsky said. "[And we thought,] 'Hey, this is well worth the gamble.'"

It turned out that Narron and Hamilton had a history. Narron's brother, Johnny, coached Hamilton as a teenager.

"My brother was saying, 'You have got to see this guy play. He is outstanding,'" Jerry Narron said. "I show up and I didn't know I was going to see a left-handed-throwing catcher. You could tell when he was 15 years old that he had tremendous ability and tremendous talent."

Krivsky kept the Hamilton discussions to a limited inner circle. Ownership wasn't notified for permission until two days before the draft. Even Narron wasn't informed until the night before at the Winter Meetings. Narron's jaw dropped when he was given the news.

"[Krivsky] had no idea that I had known him," Narron said.

To prevent another club from plucking Hamilton, the Reds made a deal with the Cubs to pick for them, who drafted ahead in line. Chicago wasn't told until it was handed a piece of paper with Hamilton's name on it just before the draft began.

"'Whoa, good call. I like it,'" Krivsky recounted being told by Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken.

Chicago selected Hamilton and then sent him to Cincinnati in exchange for cash.

Since the draft, Narron -- also a North Carolina resident -- began meeting with Hamilton twice a week and threw him batting practice. Also present at the sessions was Johnny Narron, the same former youth coach. Johnny Narron was recently named the Reds' video and administrative coach.

"I think the whole thing is set up for him to do extremely well," Jerry Narron said. "I know [Hamilton] doesn't have to worry about what the manager thinks of him as a person. That's got to be a huge load off his mind."

Because of the nearly four-year layoff, the odds of Hamilton making the Reds' roster are extremely long. But there have already been signs that there is plenty of life left in the swing that had everyone drooling seven years ago.

An early arrival to Spring Training, Hamilton has already deposited numerous batting practice home runs to parts beyond Ed Smith Stadium that many Reds hitters rarely reach.

Is there another All-American underdog comeback story in the making?

"I don't think there's anybody here with the combination of power and speed and the throwing arm that he has," Narron said. "It's a very, very difficult game to play when you're playing it every day, and he hasn't been able to play the last couple of years. There's some rust there. We're going to try our best to play him all we can this spring and see how close he is."

Hamilton has to remain on the Reds' 25-man roster all season or be exposed to waivers. If another club doesn't claim him, he must be offered back for $25,000 to the Devil Rays, who have already said they'd gladly take him back.

"Game situations, that's really when I need to not think about it and let my ability take over," Hamilton said of his baseball challenges. "Sometimes, that's the hardest thing to do. Baseball is fun. It's not hard."

If he makes it to the Majors, another world of money and temptation could be waiting for Hamilton. He says he has a "backup" plan to confront any issues. Katie carries all of his cash, and the family keeps only one car in Florida to reduce the urge of his taking off alone. The couple is deeply religious and on Monday, Hamilton frequently mentioned his faith as an aid to his staying clean.

If he makes the team this season, the Reds would make arrangements on the road for someone to hold Hamilton's meal money and plan to offer a support system.

"I know there are temptations," Hamilton said. "The devil is going to come at me hard. I don't know from where yet. We'll handle it when it comes.

"It's amazing I'm here with the Reds about four or five miles from where it all began as far as drug use. Sometimes God brings you back to times and places that we were. It might not have been the best of times. But it brings you back there when you're doing well to remind you where he brought you from."

For Hamilton, even that short distance was one heck of a long road.

[i]Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070219&content_id=1807988&vkey=spt2007news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

membengal
02-19-2007, 09:23 PM
C Trent's stuff on the blog:

Spent a couple of hours writing my story on Josh Hamilton for tomorrow.

It's an amazing story, and Hamilton was really open and honest about everything he went through -- going down the road of drug abuse and the such. Sorry, wrote about 4,000 words today and I'm nearly tapped out. Not sure how many will go in the paper tomorrow.

Still, it was an interesting 41 minutes for Hamilton's press conference. Had writers from not only Cincinnati and the Tampa area, but also Toronto, Philadelphia, New York and elsewhere, I didn't recognize everyone. It's too good of a story not follow up.

The reason they had the press conference today was so Hamilton didn't have to repeat his story another 100 times during the spring and possibly the regular season. Hamilton said his father-in-law told him to bring a shovel today so he could bury that part of his life after today. From now on there will be significant baseball questions surrounding him.

I've watched him take BP the last two days and it's one heck of a show. I'd see the ball take off from center and not see it land. Jerry Narron said they were landing at about second base of the practice fields behind the stadium.

"It’s amazing to me how it’s set up for him," Narron said. "But he’s got to show us he can play and he’s got a future here. He’s not going ot get a free pass here."

Took a poll of the writers the other day, and we're split on whether we think he'll make the squad. I voted yes, but I'm in the minority.

http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/spring/

dougdirt
02-19-2007, 09:34 PM
Took a poll of the writers the other day, and we're split on whether we think he'll make the squad. I voted yes, but I'm in the minority.


Then is the vote actually split?

4256 Hits
02-19-2007, 09:34 PM
The only thing that worries me is Josh Hamilton turning into WMP from a couple years ago when all he did was occupy a spot on the pine because he looked so overmatched when he got his sporadic at-bats.

IMO if he make the team he will make WMP from the 1st year look like Babe Ruth. He have limited success in low minor 4 years ago does not give me much hope that he will not get dominated at the MLB level.

I hope that I am wrong!

edabbs44
02-19-2007, 09:38 PM
Then is the vote actually split?

Maybe like a split decision in boxing? Only thing I can think of.

membengal
02-19-2007, 09:39 PM
I am as skeptical as anyone else, but it is impossible not to root for him. I will actively root for him.

Doc. Scott
02-19-2007, 09:45 PM
I think OBM has died and been replaced by a talking ray of sunshine.

Either that or he got back on the meds. Heck, I may need to take him off "ignore" now... at least until the season starts.

reds44
02-19-2007, 10:00 PM
Here's a question for you. I think we all know the Reds are going to do everything to keep him on the team.

What if he comes out and murders the ball in Spring Training. Any chance he is playing OD over the Freel/Denorfia combo? I say no, but you never know.

I can't wait to see this guy play.

reds44
02-19-2007, 10:13 PM
He seems like such a nice, humble, innocent guy. What happend to him?

vaticanplum
02-19-2007, 10:19 PM
He seems like such a nice, humble, innocent guy. What happend to him?

As I understand it, things went south after a car accident which injured him badly enough that he couldn't play baseball. It's one of my prime fears for kids who are groomed to be athletes and athletes alone: that's a precarious enough profession that it can literally be taken away from you in a second. If you're left with no other options, then you're not going to know what the hell to do with yourself. No purpose in life at just the time when everybody else seems to be going after the lives they want, and throw a whole lot of money on top of it. Bam.

I really don't think it's personality as much as circumstances.

Jpup
02-19-2007, 10:26 PM
As I understand it, things went south after a car accident which injured him badly enough that he couldn't play baseball. It's one of my prime fears for kids who are groomed to be athletes and athletes alone: that's a precarious enough profession that it can literally be taken away from you in a second. If you're left with no other options, then you're not going to know what the hell to do with yourself. No purpose in life at just the time when everybody else seems to be going after the lives they want, and throw a whole lot of money on top of it. Bam.

I really don't think it's personality as much as circumstances.

a parent pushing and sheltering their child into something can cause things like this as well. once they are left alone for a while, they go crazy. I've seen it happy to a lesser extent several times.

Here's my theory, people are nuts.

Edd Roush
02-19-2007, 10:29 PM
[QUOTE=BigRed;1245765]If Hamilton makes it into an every day player, this will be the kind of story that someone will make a movie out of. QUOTE]

Hopefully the movie is the 2010 World Series DVD. :beerme:

BoldOD
02-19-2007, 10:37 PM
I live in the Raleigh area and moved here just after he was drafted #1 in 99'. The kids fall from the pinnacle has been unreal, heck he had his own bobblehead before playing a minor league game.

He is certainly a longshot, but what a great story he would be; imagine having a Reds (and modern era) version of "The Natural".

I'll be an optimist on this. Why else do we love the game?

paulrichjr
02-19-2007, 11:14 PM
[QUOTE=BigRed;1245765]If Hamilton makes it into an every day player, this will be the kind of story that someone will make a movie out of. QUOTE]

Hopefully the movie is the 2010 World Series DVD. :beerme:

2007 World Series DVD would be much better

redsfan30
02-19-2007, 11:20 PM
If you can't root for Josh Hamilton, there's something wrong with you.

RedsManRick
02-19-2007, 11:33 PM
The Josh Hamilton story is very simple.

Drugs are bad. The end.

Caveat Emperor
02-20-2007, 12:17 AM
The Josh Hamilton story is very simple.

Drugs are bad. The end.

The Josh Hamilton story is far from simple...

It is exactly the kind of story that makes baseball (and sports in general) such a fascinating part of our everyday life. It is a story about the indomitability of the human spirit and the will within every one of us to stare adversity square in the face and conquer it. It is a story that shows a man can be dragged to the bottoms of dispair and still find the strength to rise above to new and greater heights. Baseball is merely the backdrop that allows this rise and fall to happen -- but it is a rise and fall that can occur (and does occur) in all walks of life.

We watch a man like Josh Hamilton with fascination because we see ourselves in him. He was confronted with adversity in the form an addiction -- a physical dependance on a chemical substance that nearly shattered his life -- and he rose above. We look at him and see the parts of ourselves that are faced with problems difficult to overcome: financial difficulties, problems at work, issues with loved ones, our own personal fears and failures. Our problems often seem insurmountable, but we take strength from knowing there are people out there who have fallen as far or farther than we have and still picked themselves back up. To see a man like Josh Hamilton succeed is to see hope in action and know that we all have the strength within ourselves to meet whatever challenges are placed in our pathes.

When we root for a man like Josh Hamilton, I think we're rooting for more than just a single person.

Or, maybe we just root for him because it's been a good story thus far and it would be a shame for it not to have a happy ending. Regardless of how you want to look at it, it is not a simple story, and I know I'll be pulling like hell for the guy to come out on top when it is all told.

bucksfan2
02-20-2007, 09:04 AM
As for making the team I say yes. I dont think he will be as bad as WMP becaues I think he has more tools that WMP had. Heck I would be willing to bet that right now Hamilton could hit better than LaRue did last year. He probably can hit better than Castro does and maybe even Gonzo. If Hamiton making the team means the reds have to play with a 24 man roster I am ok with that. Last year the reds did that with Jr. when he was day to day for a month.

Triples
02-20-2007, 09:09 AM
The Josh Hamilton story is far from simple...

It is exactly the kind of story that makes baseball (and sports in general) such a fascinating part of our everyday life. It is a story about the indomitability of the human spirit and the will within every one of us to stare adversity square in the face and conquer it. It is a story that shows a man can be dragged to the bottoms of dispair and still find the strength to rise above to new and greater heights. Baseball is merely the backdrop that allows this rise and fall to happen -- but it is a rise and fall that can occur (and does occur) in all walks of life.

We watch a man like Josh Hamilton with fascination because we see ourselves in him. He was confronted with adversity in the form an addiction -- a physical dependance on a chemical substance that nearly shattered his life -- and he rose above. We look at him and see the parts of ourselves that are faced with problems difficult to overcome: financial difficulties, problems at work, issues with loved ones, our own personal fears and failures. Our problems often seem insurmountable, but we take strength from knowing there are people out there who have fallen as far or farther than we have and still picked themselves back up. To see a man like Josh Hamilton succeed is to see hope in action and know that we all have the strength within ourselves to meet whatever challenges are placed in our pathes.

When we root for a man like Josh Hamilton, I think we're rooting for more than just a single person.

Or, maybe we just root for him because it's been a good story thus far and it would be a shame for it not to have a happy ending. Regardless of how you want to look at it, it is not a simple story, and I know I'll be pulling like hell for the guy to come out on top when it is all told.

Caveat Emperor: Very well said!!

What has impressed me the most about him since the Reds got him is that I've not heard a single word or inference that he blames anyone else for his situation. He is taking personal responsibility for what has happened in the past and is accepting Gods grace for what can happen in the future. Seems like a perfect game plan for him to get back on the right road.

CySeymour
02-20-2007, 09:20 AM
The only thing that worries me is Josh Hamilton turning into WMP from a couple years ago when all he did was occupy a spot on the pine because he looked so overmatched when he got his sporadic at-bats.

I think Hamilton has a chance to play a bit more than WMP. Pena was of no use as a defensive sub or even a pinch runner. Hamilton can at least play the outfield well.

15fan
02-20-2007, 09:26 AM
One day at a time.

That's the way to live.

RFS62
02-20-2007, 09:29 AM
Killer post, Caveat

:beerme:

Hoosier Red
02-20-2007, 09:50 AM
You know the best thing about Hamilton making it(if he does of course.)

Not only would it make the D-Rays look bad, but think how upset the Cubs would be when they drafted him and traded him for $50,000.

Anything that makes the Cubs look stupid is good by me.

lollipopcurve
02-20-2007, 10:04 AM
Not only would it make the D-Rays look bad, but think how upset the Cubs would be when they drafted him and traded him for $50,000.

Anything that makes the Cubs look stupid is good by me.

It didn't work that way. The Cubs agreed to take the $$$ for whoever the Reds wanted. The Reds did not reveal it was Hamilton until the last minute, after the agreement with the Cubs had been reached. It was simply a formality that the Cubs announced the selection.

5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM
02-20-2007, 10:56 AM
I live in the Raleigh area and moved here just after he was drafted #1 in 99'. The kids fall from the pinnacle has been unreal, heck he had his own bobblehead before playing a minor league game.

He is certainly a longshot, but what a great story he would be; imagine having a Reds (and modern era) version of "The Natural".

I'll be an optimist on this. Why else do we love the game?
45 bucks on ebay

klw
02-20-2007, 11:07 AM
Here's a story from right before he was drafted. Look at those pitching stats from his 96 mile an hour left arm. The Reds have their closer! :)
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/1999/draft/news/1999/06/02/si_hamilton/

Or perhaps this years Brooks Kieschnick!
http://www.baseball-reference.com/k/kiescbr01.shtml

redsfan30
02-20-2007, 11:13 AM
The Josh Hamilton story is far from simple...

It is exactly the kind of story that makes baseball (and sports in general) such a fascinating part of our everyday life. It is a story about the indomitability of the human spirit and the will within every one of us to stare adversity square in the face and conquer it. It is a story that shows a man can be dragged to the bottoms of dispair and still find the strength to rise above to new and greater heights. Baseball is merely the backdrop that allows this rise and fall to happen -- but it is a rise and fall that can occur (and does occur) in all walks of life.

We watch a man like Josh Hamilton with fascination because we see ourselves in him. He was confronted with adversity in the form an addiction -- a physical dependance on a chemical substance that nearly shattered his life -- and he rose above. We look at him and see the parts of ourselves that are faced with problems difficult to overcome: financial difficulties, problems at work, issues with loved ones, our own personal fears and failures. Our problems often seem insurmountable, but we take strength from knowing there are people out there who have fallen as far or farther than we have and still picked themselves back up. To see a man like Josh Hamilton succeed is to see hope in action and know that we all have the strength within ourselves to meet whatever challenges are placed in our pathes.

When we root for a man like Josh Hamilton, I think we're rooting for more than just a single person.

Or, maybe we just root for him because it's been a good story thus far and it would be a shame for it not to have a happy ending. Regardless of how you want to look at it, it is not a simple story, and I know I'll be pulling like hell for the guy to come out on top when it is all told.
This is one of the best posts I've ever read on these forums.

flyer85
02-20-2007, 11:20 AM
I think the other part of the Hamilton story that fascinates is his background. Here is a person who admits he simply made all the wrong choices, he was not burdened by environmental factors that pull others down. He had none of the disadvantages that a lot of athletes grow up with. His fall was entirely a product of his own making. His fall and redemption are a synopsis of what the "Christian" life is about. None of this means he won't stumble again, what it means is that he will not be alone in facing his troubles.

Sea Ray
02-20-2007, 11:49 AM
Here's a question for you. I think we all know the Reds are going to do everything to keep him on the team.

What if he comes out and murders the ball in Spring Training. Any chance he is playing OD over the Freel/Denorfia combo? I say no, but you never know.

I can't wait to see this guy play.

Neither Freel or Denorfia are "major league starters" as of today. Their position is wide open if someone like Hamilton takes it. My bet is they'll give him some spot starts and build from there. If he is over matched at the plate he'll be a late inning defensive specialist and pinch runner. If he gets so much as a hangnail they'll DL him and send him out for 21 days of rehab in the minors.

Bottomline is they'll keep him all year in some capacity if their current opinion of him doesn't change

bounty37h
02-20-2007, 11:53 AM
I live here in NC as well, and have followed Josh for a few years, saw him play high school ball-had a kid I work with who played with him for years. I dont know how he will do this spring, doubt anyone does, but I am pulling for him as hard as anyone out there. He has a bee-you-tee-full swing folks, and really has always seemed to just really enjoy playing the game. If he can have a succesful spring and make the final cut, we will have something special on our hands, barring injury, which concerns me more then a relapse of his past usage problems.
For the record, I have both of those bobbles signed at home :)
Best of luck Josh!!!!

gonelong
02-20-2007, 12:27 PM
The Josh Hamilton story is far from simple...

It is exactly the kind of story that makes baseball (and sports in general) such a fascinating part of our everyday life. It is a story about the indomitability of the human spirit and the will within every one of us to stare adversity square in the face and conquer it. It is a story that shows a man can be dragged to the bottoms of dispair and still find the strength to rise above to new and greater heights. Baseball is merely the backdrop that allows this rise and fall to happen -- but it is a rise and fall that can occur (and does occur) in all walks of life.

We watch a man like Josh Hamilton with fascination because we see ourselves in him. He was confronted with adversity in the form an addiction -- a physical dependance on a chemical substance that nearly shattered his life -- and he rose above. We look at him and see the parts of ourselves that are faced with problems difficult to overcome: financial difficulties, problems at work, issues with loved ones, our own personal fears and failures. Our problems often seem insurmountable, but we take strength from knowing there are people out there who have fallen as far or farther than we have and still picked themselves back up. To see a man like Josh Hamilton succeed is to see hope in action and know that we all have the strength within ourselves to meet whatever challenges are placed in our pathes.

When we root for a man like Josh Hamilton, I think we're rooting for more than just a single person.

Or, maybe we just root for him because it's been a good story thus far and it would be a shame for it not to have a happy ending. Regardless of how you want to look at it, it is not a simple story, and I know I'll be pulling like hell for the guy to come out on top when it is all told.

Occasionally I wish I looked at more things that way.

I think its a simple story. I see a guy that got knocked down and is trying to get back up. Good for him, its what we all should do when life doesn't go as planned. Get up and get on with it.

Maybe I just don't know enough about the guy yet to have the deeper feelings on the subject.

GL

ED44
02-20-2007, 04:29 PM
I am really cheering for Hamilton. After we announced we had acquired him, I had a gut feeling that he would find a home here. I hope I am right...if so, we have found a starter in the OF for years to come.

TRF
02-20-2007, 05:06 PM
Drugs are bad.

I'm not parroting South Park here.

Drugs destroyed my family. Two of my uncles committed suicide. Drugs were involved. My sister's life was destroyed by drugs. She's been missing for 6 months now. Her four kids have all been adopted. I really thank god the state of Arizona took them away from her. Drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed my brother. He's been sober 18 months now. At least he says he is. He seems to have gained control of his life, but all it takes is a moment of weakness. All it takes is one of his buddies asking him to join him for a beer.

My mom spent most of the 80's high. She spent almost all of 81-82 in her room until the sun went down. Then she was gone all night. I'm the oldest of four kids. I was 14 at the time. All I wanted to do. All I ever wanted to do was play ball, and she was too damned stoned to take me to practice. We lived with her in Cincinnati from 79 to 83 before she abandoned us. During those four years, living in Lower Price Hill, just a couple of miles from Riverfront, I saw maybe 3 games. She sold drugs to my friends in the 6th grade. Imagine how seeing that makes a kid feel.

I'm 39 years old this May. I have never taken drugs. Not once. Never smoked anything. I average a half a beer a year. On occasion I'll drink a margarita with my wife. I find that I actually like tequila, which is why I try to stay far away from it. Hard to do in Texas.

My mom now lives with her mom in Cincinnati. We don't speak. She's a wreck. My grandmother may actually outlive all her kids. The only uncle I have left is a hopeless alcoholic. And they both live with my grandmother to help take care of her. The irony is pretty hard to miss as they cannot even take care of themselves.

I hope Josh Hamilton's kids never have a memory of him with a needle in his arm. I hope they never have a memory of their father as a junkie.

I hope Hamilton never forgets that's what he is... a junkie. But I also hope he rises above it and never again descends to that level of hell. Not for the Red's sake or his sake. But for his children, because they deserve a father that will get out of bed and be in their lives.

woof. that was somewhat cathartic.

durl
02-20-2007, 05:31 PM
TRF - my heart goes out to you. Some people experience what you went through and use it to justify going down the same path as their family members. You have my respect.

I believe what really hit me about your story is that I'm roughly your age, was born in Cincy, and our house was in Price Hill. (We moved to Kentucky when I was around 3.) As similar as our background is, our childhoods were completely opposite.

Your "junkie" comments made me remember a talk I had about 20 years ago with a man who served as the pastor of the small church I attended. One day, he told me quite bluntly that he was (present tense) an alcoholic although he hadn't had a drink in many, many years. He was such a great man and it totally shocked me. He explained that he prayed for God to take the desire away, but it never left completely. Still, he recognized it and was always vigilant to keep the desire under control. That was the first experience I had with a recovering addict and he made such a strong impression on me. With God's help, the past remained the past with that man and he meant so much to many, many people. I pray Hamilton can have the same experience. It would be a great baseball story, but it would be an even better story for his wife, his children, his grandmother, and all his other family members.

MartyFan
02-20-2007, 07:43 PM
The Josh Hamilton story is far from simple...

It is exactly the kind of story that makes baseball (and sports in general) such a fascinating part of our everyday life. It is a story about the indomitability of the human spirit and the will within every one of us to stare adversity square in the face and conquer it. It is a story that shows a man can be dragged to the bottoms of dispair and still find the strength to rise above to new and greater heights. Baseball is merely the backdrop that allows this rise and fall to happen -- but it is a rise and fall that can occur (and does occur) in all walks of life.

We watch a man like Josh Hamilton with fascination because we see ourselves in him. He was confronted with adversity in the form an addiction -- a physical dependance on a chemical substance that nearly shattered his life -- and he rose above. We look at him and see the parts of ourselves that are faced with problems difficult to overcome: financial difficulties, problems at work, issues with loved ones, our own personal fears and failures. Our problems often seem insurmountable, but we take strength from knowing there are people out there who have fallen as far or farther than we have and still picked themselves back up. To see a man like Josh Hamilton succeed is to see hope in action and know that we all have the strength within ourselves to meet whatever challenges are placed in our pathes.

When we root for a man like Josh Hamilton, I think we're rooting for more than just a single person.

Or, maybe we just root for him because it's been a good story thus far and it would be a shame for it not to have a happy ending. Regardless of how you want to look at it, it is not a simple story, and I know I'll be pulling like hell for the guy to come out on top when it is all told.

Best post ever on this forum...nothing else is even close.

Well done! :notworthy :clap: :notworthy :clap:

Hoosier Red
02-20-2007, 09:46 PM
It didn't work that way. The Cubs agreed to take the $$$ for whoever the Reds wanted. The Reds did not reveal it was Hamilton until the last minute, after the agreement with the Cubs had been reached. It was simply a formality that the Cubs announced the selection.


Details like that will get lost in the shuffle of time. All Cubs fans will remember is they had Josh Hamilton if only for a second.

Okay even the hard core guys probably won't even know they had him but still.

TRF
02-21-2007, 09:48 AM
TRF - my heart goes out to you. Some people experience what you went through and use it to justify going down the same path as their family members. You have my respect.

I believe what really hit me about your story is that I'm roughly your age, was born in Cincy, and our house was in Price Hill. (We moved to Kentucky when I was around 3.) As similar as our background is, our childhoods were completely opposite.

Your "junkie" comments made me remember a talk I had about 20 years ago with a man who served as the pastor of the small church I attended. One day, he told me quite bluntly that he was (present tense) an alcoholic although he hadn't had a drink in many, many years. He was such a great man and it totally shocked me. He explained that he prayed for God to take the desire away, but it never left completely. Still, he recognized it and was always vigilant to keep the desire under control. That was the first experience I had with a recovering addict and he made such a strong impression on me. With God's help, the past remained the past with that man and he meant so much to many, many people. I pray Hamilton can have the same experience. It would be a great baseball story, but it would be an even better story for his wife, his children, his grandmother, and all his other family members.

Religion was never a part of our lives. I understand it can be a powerful force that can help a person get through an ordeal like this. I'm for anything that helps Josh Hamilton become a human being again. If it's faith, self determination, or just a desire to never have your daughter look at you and cry because of what you are, then I am all for that.

I hope he makes the club, but I hope it doesn't come too easy. I don't want him to relax too much. He needs some struggle and to know it takes work. It's one of the things that troubles me when I read quotes. He goes on about how baseball is easy for him, and maybe it is. But he needs to work at it. If he doesn't he might be setting himself up to not work at other things too.

I hope I didn't come off too whiney in my earlier post. Something about Hamilton had been bothering me since the Rule V draft, and that just kind of poured out. I spent most of yesterday helping my oldest daughter apply for admission to college. She's going to West Texas A&M University. When I was sixteen, my mom had once again pulled me back into her life, only to pull her same disappearing act a year and a half later. I had no guidance about college from any adults. As a result, I didn't attend College until I was 19, and it was a community college. I couldn't sleep last night thinking how proud I am of her.

Josh Hamilton had millions thrown at him. If he never makes a million dollars the rest of his life, I hope he at least is there for his kids and encourages them to never fall into the traps and crevices he spent the last 5 years in.

But hey, I'm a little selfish. I hope he patrols RF for the Reds for a decade or so too.

Natty Redlocks
02-21-2007, 12:07 PM
The Josh Hamilton story is far from simple...

It is exactly the kind of story that makes baseball (and sports in general) such a fascinating part of our everyday life. It is a story about the indomitability of the human spirit and the will within every one of us to stare adversity square in the face and conquer it. It is a story that shows a man can be dragged to the bottoms of dispair and still find the strength to rise above to new and greater heights. Baseball is merely the backdrop that allows this rise and fall to happen -- but it is a rise and fall that can occur (and does occur) in all walks of life.

We watch a man like Josh Hamilton with fascination because we see ourselves in him. He was confronted with adversity in the form an addiction -- a physical dependance on a chemical substance that nearly shattered his life -- and he rose above. We look at him and see the parts of ourselves that are faced with problems difficult to overcome: financial difficulties, problems at work, issues with loved ones, our own personal fears and failures. Our problems often seem insurmountable, but we take strength from knowing there are people out there who have fallen as far or farther than we have and still picked themselves back up. To see a man like Josh Hamilton succeed is to see hope in action and know that we all have the strength within ourselves to meet whatever challenges are placed in our pathes.

When we root for a man like Josh Hamilton, I think we're rooting for more than just a single person.

Or, maybe we just root for him because it's been a good story thus far and it would be a shame for it not to have a happy ending. Regardless of how you want to look at it, it is not a simple story, and I know I'll be pulling like hell for the guy to come out on top when it is all told.

Sorry, but to me it is simple. I'm rooting for him because he's a Red and they could really use a good cheap OF when Jr. gets hurt.

There are a million guys like this out there, idiots who destroy their lives and go around having children and destroy their lives too. If he manages to straighten himself out, good for him. If not, I feel bad for his kids. And I feel bad that guys like Bubba Crosby and Jeff Conine will get more playing time.

bradmu
02-21-2007, 11:23 PM
Not sure I fully understand the Rule 5 draft rules. He has to make the 25 man roster and remain on it for the full year, or else he gets offered back to his original team. Say that does happen, he is on the team/DL for the full year, but he is still in need of some Minor League AB's. Can he be sent down to the Minors in 2008? Or would he have to be exposed to waivers at that point?

I hear a lot of posters comparing this to the WMP Deal for obvious reasons. But, its a little different in that WMP was on the 25 man because he had no options as opposed to Rule 5. Also, One would have to think that Hamilton (or even a tackling dummy) would be able to patrol the outfield better than Wily Mo.

Chip R
02-21-2007, 11:25 PM
Not sure I fully understand the Rule 5 draft rules. He has to make the 25 man roster and remain on it for the full year, or else he gets offered back to his original team. Say that does happen, he is on the team/DL for the full year, but he is still in need of some Minor League AB's. Can he be sent down to the Minors in 2008? Or would he have to be exposed to waivers at that point?



If he sticks the whole season, the Reds can send him down to the minors without risking losing him in 2008.

Sea Ray
02-22-2007, 09:25 AM
If he sticks the whole season, the Reds can send him down to the minors without risking losing him in 2008.


Right on. After this year he'll have his three "options" meaning they can send him down for three more years.

I am very interested to see him play. It puzzles me why TB would not even put him on their 40 man roster. Are they really that stacked or is he really not worth it? Seems to me he'd be worth a place on the 40 man especially to a team that has so much invested in him. If he works out for the Reds long term, this decision will go down as hugely boneheaded for TB.

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't he have to clear waivers before going back to TB? In essence, the only way he goes back to TB is if every team rejects having him on their 25 man.

membengal
02-22-2007, 11:13 AM
They really are that stacked in the OF. Right now, Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, Delmon Young, and wondering where to get at-bats for another crazy talented but also crazy in the head youngster, Elijah Dukes. There is no room there for a 25-year-old former all-world prospect who hasn't really played ball in four years and is a recovering crack addict and is a longshot among longshots at best.

Cincy has room for that, however. And, like I said earlier, you can't help but root for him.

TRF
02-22-2007, 11:35 AM
I'm rooting for him, but i am tempering my fandom. I hope he succeeds but there is more important things than baseball.

Nobody repeat this to my wife!

Today I plan to play catch with my son. 70 degrees and a couple hours of daylight should just about make my week. I hope Josh Hamilton has many, many weeks like that.