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Thread: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

  1. #1
    Member klw's Avatar
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    "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    Even long term scouts love Hamilton.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/col/madden/index.html

    Plus Humbert Snachez may be damaged- a future trade target

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    Kmac5 KoryMac5's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    I always like Madden's columns and living in NY I often get to see him on SNY. He is a good baseball writer, with a nice article giving the Reds some credit for picking up Josh. I did think until hearing it on XM that Narron gave the idea to Krivs about drafting Josh. Nice pickup by Krivs.

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    Member GullyFoyle's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    If the Reds really want to be proactive they would get Narron's brother some training in drug counseling. I'm glad Hamilton will be rooming with someone he knows and trusts, but will Narron's brother know when to set limits and when to back off?

    I keep seeing Strawberry...

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    May as well post the article....

    Monday, March 19th 2007, 1:02 PM

    TAMPA - A bunch of veteran scouts were sitting around the table in the dining room at Legends Field the other day when the topic of conversation turned to Josh Hamilton, the one-time No. 1 draft pick whose well-chronicled battle with drugs and alcohol derailed his career and nearly killed him. After three years out of the game on baseball's restricted list because of his repeated drug offenses, the 25-year-old Hamilton is seeking to make it all the way back with the Cincinnati Reds, who purchased his contract for $100,000 from the Chicago Cubs in December after the Cubs selected him in the Rule 5 draft from his original team, the Tampa Bay Devil Days.

    And it appears he is succeeding beyond anyone's wildest expectation. Entering the weekend, he was hitting .548 for 31 spring at-bats with two homers, two doubles, a triple, 26 RBI and only three strikeouts.

    "Josh Hamilton," proclaimed longtime Baltimore Orioles advance scout Deacon Jones, "is the story of this spring training. This guy is not to be believed. I saw him the other night, with that power, that bat speed, that plate discipline and then that throwing arm and I said: ‘Whoaaaa. What is this? This guy might be the best I've ever seen.' At one point, I got up and yelled to him: ‘This game ain't this damn easy!' I never saw him before, but now I know why he was the No. 1 pick in '99. This guy's a real player."

    Yankee VP of scouting Gene Michael, sitting across the table from Jones, nodded in agreement.

    "He's legitimate five tools," Michael said. "It's all there and he hasn't lost anything from what I've seen. The Reds got themselves a tremendous player, but it's always going to be a question. The drugs are always going to be there, waiting to get to him again."

    Michael knows what he's talking about, having been the point man in the Yankees' reclamation projects of drug-troubled Steve Howe (1991) and Darryl Strawberry (1995). But Hamilton's story is far more harrowing than even theirs - culminating with his arrival on the doorstep of the Raleigh, N.C., home of his 75-year-old grandmother, Mary Holt in October 2005. Sweating profusely, his eyes glazed and some 40 pounds underweight, the gaunt, disheveled Hamilton was barely recognizable to her. So powerful was the hold crack cocaine had on him that, on one occasion, he reportedly burned his left (throwing) hand with five lit cigarettes. A few days earlier, he'd tried to commit suicide - for the fourth or fifth time, by his count - by overdosing with pills. "I'd let so many people down," he said, "I didn't want to live anymore."

    But at the urging of his appalled grandmother, he checked himself yet again into rehab and, finally, last year MLB agreed to lift his suspension and allow him to play the last three weeks of the season for D-Rays' New York-Penn League team in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. You would think that after all the investment in time, money (over $4 million) and patience, the D-Rays would have made certain that they would be the ones to benefit from any comeback by Hamilton.

    Nevertheless, they elected not to put him on the 40-man roster last winter, leaving him exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. GM Andrew Friedman explained later they didn't think any team would take a chance on him. Making it look even worse for the D-Rays was the fact that a few days after losing Hamilton in the draft, they non-tendered outfielder Damon Hollins, who then wound up signing in Japan. So not only did they waste a roster spot that could have been Hamilton's on a player they knew they weren't going to keep, they didn't even get any compensation for him.

    "They told me they never dreamed anyone would take me," Hamilton said. "I understand. That's the business of baseball. It was a call they had to make. (His wife) Katy and I just looked at it as God put me here with the Reds."

    As Michael pointed out, however, the demons within are a constant threat to rise up and strike Hamilton out again, although the Reds feel they may have the best protective environment for him. Reds manager Jerry Narron's brother Johnny coached Hamilton when he was 15 in the Raleigh youth league and the plan is to have Johnny Narron travel with the Reds this year and room with the fragile prodigy.

    "I feel I have a comfort zone with Johnny and Jerry," Hamilton said. "God's been good to me. There's no reason why I should be here and back playing baseball on this level. If I came in here worried about what might happen, it might not happen. I didn't have any reservations, but I haven't held anything back either. Every day, something is going to cause me to stop in my tracks, making me realize how lucky I am."

    "He knows he's made some bad choices and that he's accountable to a lot of people," Jerry Narron said of Hamilton. "It's funny. When (Reds GM) Wayne (Krivsky) came to me last December to run it by me, what he was thinking of doing, he had no idea I'd known Josh since he was 15."

    About the only tool Hamilton has so far been unable to showcase for the awed scouts is his foot speed on the bases and in the outfield, as he's been playing with a case of shin splints. But it certainly hasn't hindered his hitting and, barring a major injury, it's safe to say he's made the club. The question is, with all this previously untapped talent, how can the Reds keep him out of the everyday lineup?

    "What's impressed me most is his plate discipline," Narron said. "He uses all fields and he sure doesn't look like a guy who's been off three years. I kind of liken him to those players who went away to World War II and came back and were just as successful. The reason was they had outstanding ability. So does Josh. The difference is, he's never even been to the big leagues." Say hello to a real life Roy Hobbs.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Don't know where the writer got "26 RBI's" from when he has only 6 RBI's. If he actually believed he had 26 RBI's in 31 AB's, then that might have changed his approach to the article. He also only has 1 HR, not 2 HR's, and 3 Doubles, not 2.....and....after going 1-1 today, he raised his average to .487......but, that's OK...his point is that he's been doing well.
    Last edited by Eric_Davis; 03-19-2007 at 06:44 PM.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    Member Eric_Davis's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    For what it's worth....there are no "demons within", as the writer so illiterately states.
    Rob Neyer: "Any writer who says he'd be a better manager than the worst manager is either 1) lying (i.e. 'using poetic license') or 2) patently delusional. Which isn't to say managers don't do stupid things that you or I wouldn't."

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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    Quote Originally Posted by GullyFoyle View Post

    I keep seeing Strawberry...
    Spot on. They keep treating Hamilton like he's got it licked. I hope he does, but he's only reached the point where he can see the top of the hole he has to climb out of.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    From the title of the thread, I thought maybe someone was talking about Sid Finch.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    You're soaking in it! MartyFan's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Spot on. They keep treating Hamilton like he's got it licked. I hope he does, but he's only reached the point where he can see the top of the hole he has to climb out of.
    I think if he holds himself accountable to his wife, family and God he will have it licked.

    I know we've all heard the stories of people with addictions who relapse time and time again...and who knows. He may go down that road but nothing is impossible if you put your trust in God.

    No sermon, just telling you he has his eye on a prize and baseball is barely a fraction of it.
    "Sometimes, it's not the sexiest moves that put you over the top," Krivsky said. "It's a series of transactions that help you get there."

  10. #9
    Firin Away Jr's Boy's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    If this kid's the real deal,the Reds will be a force to reckon with in the Central.Still way to early to tell,but really something positive coming out of spring training for a change.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    Quote Originally Posted by MartyFan View Post
    I think if he holds himself accountable to his wife, family and God he will have it licked.

    I know we've all heard the stories of people with addictions who relapse time and time again...and who knows. He may go down that road but nothing is impossible if you put your trust in God.

    No sermon, just telling you he has his eye on a prize and baseball is barely a fraction of it.
    Not disagreeing with you, but we've heard talk of players turning to faith in the past when recovering but it was only talk and they regressed. We don't really know Hamilton and whether he's changed in his heart or is just talking. I think Strawberry declared himself similarly changed in one of his comeback attempts.

    Hamilton comes off as genuine from what I've read and heard, but we don't really know.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    Quote Originally Posted by GullyFoyle View Post
    If the Reds really want to be proactive they would get Narron's brother some training in drug counseling. I'm glad Hamilton will be rooming with someone he knows and trusts, but will Narron's brother know when to set limits and when to back off?

    I keep seeing Strawberry...
    Good point.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    One major difference - Strawberry pushed away attempts at help, like having someone room with him who was there strictly for that purpose of accountability. Sounds to me like Josh knows he faces a monster and will do what it takes. There are no guarantees, of course, but I'm sure as heck going to be rooting for him - as a player and even more so as a young man with a wife and child trying to stay on the right path.

  14. #13
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    Quote Originally Posted by MartyFan View Post
    I think if he holds himself accountable to his wife, family and God he will have it licked.

    I know we've all heard the stories of people with addictions who relapse time and time again...and who knows. He may go down that road but nothing is impossible if you put your trust in God.

    No sermon, just telling you he has his eye on a prize and baseball is barely a fraction of it.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Spot on. They keep treating Hamilton like he's got it licked. I hope he does, but he's only reached the point where he can see the top of the hole he has to climb out of.
    Who is they?

    I would hardly let some quotes in the paper form any opinion on how the Reds are handling Josh Hamilton. There are 24 hours in a day and not even a fraction of that is being covered in these articles.

    Why does Narron's brother need drug counseling? I'm sure Josh already talks to one of those. I don't see the problem with taking the human approach, putting Josh with someone he knows and likes. If he needs to live with a counselor, he is probably in the wrong place.

    This is simply a move to make sure Josh is in his room at night. Its not like he'll be the only guy talking to the kid. I bet Hamilton will spend more time talking with Dunn, should Adam get some counseling too? What about Brook Jacoby? How will these two know when to "back off"?

    If Narron's brother wasn't going to travel with the team, would anyone suggest that the team get Josh a roomate from outside the organization? I doubt it.

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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: "This guy might be the best I have ever seen"

    Quote Originally Posted by MaineRed View Post
    Who is they?
    Clarification: by "they" I meant the sports writers, like Madden, the author of the article from which the title of this thread came.

    I have no idea what the Reds think of him, other than it seems they know he's probably pretty fragile. Otherwise, why would they have Johnny Narron tied to him at the hip? That's a smart thing, if you ask me.

    So, even though the writers are really loving this guy as a story, I just think he's probably at the beginning of a long road ahead. Goodness knows that many addicts aren't able to stay straight and I am totally rooting for the guy to hang in there and become the feel good, disney movie rights story of the year.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.


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