In the first series against the Texas Rangers after the Angels acquired Josh Hamilton, I went to one of the games here. On my way out, I stopped to talk to an usher who told me that his section that night had a bunch of Rangers fans who were having an unusually good time. “They weren’t drunk,” he said, they were just happy to get rid of Josh Hamilton.”
In today’s Orange County Register, there is extensive coverage of the departure of Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton. In the two main stories of his trade back to the Texas Rangers, Hamilton said he should have stayed in Texas in the first place.
He said, with regard to his drug and alcohol relapse, [Angels owner Arte Moreno] “knew what the deal was when he signed me, hands down. He knew what he was getting, he knew what the risks were, he knew all those things.”
In both stories, it is more important to understand what Hamilton didn’t say than what he did say. He did not say he was sorry – to his family, to his teammates, or to fans. He did not take ownership of his additions or of the relapse that triggered perhaps the biggest distraction in Angels history. Until he does – until he stands before the community and says, “My name is Josh and I’m an alcoholic,” he will always be at the mercy of his addictions.
It was also announced that Hamilton’s wife filed for divorce. They have four kids.
One of the most difficult sentences for any human being to utter is “I’m sorry.” Saying you’re sorry means that you made a mistake and that you are, well, human.
But saying “I’m sorry” is also one of the most powerful sentences we can use because it tells the recipient that you are, well, human.
Unfortunately, by the time we’re adults, most of us have egos too large to allow us to say we’re sorry. Instead, we batten down the hatches, blame someone else or something else, and refuse to admit what everyone around us already knows: We screwed up.
Josh Hamilton may still be a good baseball player – time will tell. And I don’t know the circumstances of his domestic life – maybe he was a good husband and father. But Hamilton has a fatal flaw in his character and until he understands that taking responsibility for our actions and saying we are sorry are not signs of weak people, they are signs of strong people, he will never achieve full growth as a human being.