The simplest part of the whole process involving Josh Hamilton falling off the wagon seems to have been that fall. Since he came forward to MLB and confessed a relapse, the wheels of justice have intertwined with the gears of rehabilitation to plod at an excruciating pace.
The Angels await word of his fate. There does not seem to be a pressing need for the club to acquire an outfielder as General Manager Jerry Dipoto did a good job of acquiring depth in and around the position in the offseason, reportedly long before Josh's dabbling with his substance abuse demon.
A complicated panel of lawyers added a layer of bureaucracy to the whole affair. It seems Commissioner Rob Manfred is bound to take into consideration their recommendation. The panel is equally divided between reps for the interests of MLB and reps from the players union. Gosh, don't be too shocked to read they are a divided panel.
Now an arbitrator will step in, apparently neutral, and will be the deciding vote as to whether Josh needs to be assigned treatment. While the commissioner has the latitude to forgive Josh completely for this infraction or to throw the book at him for this relapse, MLB is bending over backward to let a process work itself out.
If Josh Hamilton is to be punished, he could be suspended for one year as it is his fourth infraction of the MLB substance abuse policy. If Hamilton is to be rehabilitated for suffering a disease, his suspension from the game will be shorter. The Angels might be off the hook for his entire 2015 salary of $25 MIllion.They maybe on the hook for that salary and for paying for a sick player's rehab.
It is anyone's guess but the verdict - the fate of this troubled man and millions of dollars that count toward the Luxury Tax Threshold of player salaries - the verdict is coming. Slowly, but now we know steadily and likely soon.