The Independent Arbitrator ruled in favor of Josh Hamilton and against the Angels (and thus the MLB ownership cartel). Only time will tell if Hamilton was, indeed, a winner in this. There might be no winners save for legal scholars who love ticky-tack "letter of the law" rulings.
Josh Hamilton needs help. Instead he got enabling. He got away with bad behavior. He introduced precedent for every player to loophole their way out of taking personal responsibility for not just violations of the Players Union's Collective Bargaining agreement with MLB. No, Josh has greenlighted self-destructive behavior as a cat-and-mouse thrill chase to an already adrenaline-seeking clubhouse culture.
Beyond Hamilton, though, there is his team left wondering what to do. Here are ten ways the ruling hurts the Angels as a team because accountability - a tenet of all addiction recovery programs - is not covered by the MLB CBA nor embraced by baseball media with no knowledge of any one of the twelve steps.
$1,916,000 - That is Josh's twice monthly paycheck in 2015. The Angels were going to be paying it to a rehabbing cortisone-glued shell of a former hulk and now they will be paying it to one with a whole 'nother shackle of controversy and opprobrium hooked onto his baggage. That $23 Million this year will buy his wife Orange County Housewiife friends but it could be the lynchpin of a players' strike in 2018.
Boo-Birds - When Albert Pujols got off to a slow start, the franchise did everything they could to minimize the fickle fan-base roaring with "boo boo boo: every time Albert hit a slow ground out. Music for the next player was started immediately and seemed to be louder. Broadcast microphones were muted. Will Josh - now in a publicly contentious battle with the club - be afforded any protection or will management silence the amplifiers and let the radio booth turn up the microphone to let the Boo Birds sing? And will the East Coast media scold management, fans or everyone west of the Mississippi?
- Left Field - The optimum situation ahead for the Angels will be a platoon of Collin Cowgill and Matt Joyce in Left Field. What if this is working when the injured HamBone returns? Will he sit quietly?
- Designated Hitter - Finding room for HamBone in the Angels lineup is not going to be easy with CJ Cron batting over .400 in Spring and Albert Pujols needing days off his feet at 1B.
- Mike Trout - A squeaky-clean All Star MVP has a high-profile teammate who can't wipe his own ass if his wife doesn't follow him to the toilet. Kind of minimizes super-stardom. Buzzkill, right?
- Albert Pujols - Ownership stupidly added Hamilton after a season of Pujols struggling. Now that the elixir of a big lefty bat was not the secret potion of success the team thought it would be, more weight is on his shoulders to be six years younger and win big.
- John Carpino - He took the bullets for Arte in lambasting the decision and will suffer the slings and arrows of the PC media that has enabled contrite coke-heads since the 1970s. With his awkward Joe Pesci hitman voice, he should really do these scoldings live on TV to make everything he says seem like a threat from La Cosa Halo Nostra.
- I forget what eight was for.
- Angels Fans - We are not going to fall in line with the "Strip-club millionaire jocks on coke are unaccountable victims" that Disney's ESPN will broadcast with enabling harpsichord backing. And for this we will be pilloried.
- Angels Brand - Arte Moreno seeks a national brand. Right now that brand would be "Animal House". Not what his polo-shirt prepster army of front office yes-men had in their marketing minds.
This is not the end of the Josh Hamilton saga. He is not progressing in his physical rehabilitation from offseason shoulder surgery and now he is being held out of getting rehabilitation for a much deeper problem.