The Song Remains The Same

Take this will all “Jim Bowden might be crazy” grains of salt but it looks like the Bad Old Days are back again. Red Sox and Yankees bidding for the services of player as his former team desperately tries to stay in the conversation.

The Rangers are no shrinking violet but this…this is where all the talk of “shorter years and more dollars” goes out the window. If the Yankees, Red Sox, and heavily subsidized Rangers get into a bidding war, you can start tacking on years to the end of any deal with modest term in its DNA. ALL THE YEARS AND ALL THE DOLLARS is officially in play, leaving the Seattle Mariners to stand on Hamilton’s lawn blasting Peter Gabriel to no avail.

The number one question surrounding Josh Hamilton is not whether or not he will help a team win baseball games. He is one of the most talented players in the league, of course he helps his team win baseball games. The questions all relate to his health.

Can any team count on him for more than 140 games a year with all his bumps and bruises? More acutely: is it Hamilton’s style of play or his lifestyle, as his history of drug abuse is the next topic to surface after murmurs and hushed tones noting his inability to stay healthy.

Human beings love connecting dots. The ability to recognize patterns and use cognitive leaps to reach conclusions is one of the greatest strengths as well as a great weakness. Too often these great human traits are used for evil rather than good, generally in the name of laziness.

Are the two topics related? Does Josh Hamilton’s body breakdown because of his time addicted to crack cocaine? ESPN’s Molly Knight spoke with some doctors who say “no.”

“The human body has an amazing capacity for dramatic and near complete recovery within a matter of weeks and months,” said Dr. David Sack, M.D. and CEO of Elements Behavior Help and Promises Treatment Center in Los Angeles. “That’s the good news.”

And relief spread across the university campuses of the world.

Other medical professionals inform Knight that the exposure to the best medical treatment and nutrition as a professional athlete undoes just about any damage done by the drug abuse in his past.

All of this is to suggest the Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers or anybody else will not pause in their pursuit of a game-changer like Josh Hamilton because of his past or injury concerns. The Red Sox have the money and the need while the Yankees are the Yankees. The Yanks already expressed a willingness to at least listen to offers for Curtis Granderson, as though fitting Josh Hamilton into their lineup represents an actual problem or challenge.

Just one year ago, many predicted/hoped Prince Fielder would take a shorter term on his free agent contract right up until the moment when he signed a ten-year deal. For ten years. Josh Hamilton will not need to settle for a four or five year deal. He will get paid and paid forever. The big boys have come to play, the little guys need to step aside. Sigh.