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Josh Hamilton is looking for a new “accountability partner”

Dec 15, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

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Among other duties Johnny Narron has served as Josh Hamilton‘s “accountability partner” since 2009, but he left the team last month to become the Brewers’ new hitting coach and now the Rangers are searching for a new person to keep the former MVP in line on the road.

“We’re working on it,” Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. “I’m sure you’ll hear more in the next few days.”

As for what exactly an “accountability partner” entails, Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPN Dallas offered some details in a column earlier this month:

Hamilton is a 30-year-old man with a wife and four kids. Ultimately, he’s responsible for his own actions. But anyone who has ever been an addict or alcoholic, or had an addict or alcoholic in their immediate family, knows staying clean requires more than good intentions or catchy slogans like, “Just say no.”

Narron helped keep Hamilton’s mind right when he was in a slump. Or a funk. He was the guy in the adjoining hotel room on the road that Hamilton could talk to when the slugger wanted to discuss God’s plan for his life at 2 a.m. Or when the devil urged Hamilton to take a drink or use drugs.

It won’t make as many headlines as a new closer or even a backup infielder, but finding a new “accountability partner” for Hamilton could be the most important addition of the Rangers’ offseason.

  1. randygnyc - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    I guess Ron Washington, Marion Barry and Barack Obama, all confirmed crack heads, won’t be considered?

    • stex52 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

      Here’s an idea. How about baseball? Oh, and you forgot George Bush.

    • JBerardi - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      No, no, you’re thinking of the last president.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:21 AM

      Which, in the case of Washington, Obama and Bush, goes to show how senseless the War on Drugs is. If either of them had been busted with more them had been busted with more than x amount of coke, they would have been jailed and had a drug conviction on their record, severely hampering their future employment opportunities.

      …And as you can see, they did pretty well for themselves, didn’t they?

      • JBerardi - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        “If either of them had been busted with more them had been busted with more than x amount of coke, they would have been jailed and had a drug conviction on their record, severely hampering their future employment opportunities.”

        If George Bush had been busted nothing would have happened to him because he lived a life of extreme privilege. But otherwise, yeah, sure.

      • deathmonkey41 - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:33 PM

        Or if they were Kennedys. Life is sweet on Hyannis Port too.

      • JBerardi - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        The War On Drugs. Aka The The War on (some classes of people who use some kinds of) Drugs.

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      Sounds like you have a bigger problem with “Black” than you do with “Crack” actually.

      • JBerardi - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        I’m glad you mentioned it. That dog-wistle could use some tuning.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        Yeah, I hated mentioning it myself, but I think it had to be said.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Dec 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        I guess Limbaugh and the prescription drugs are ok, then.

    • randygnyc - Dec 15, 2011 at 2:19 PM

      No racial concerns here.. I’m a militant, social conservative. When it comes to drugs, this homey don’t play that.

      IMO, Washington should have been banned from baseball. The image of Marion Barry smoking crack on video is permanently ingrained in my mind and is the first thought I have upon hearing the word “crack”. And when it comes to Obama, his drug use is completely secondary to me, compared to the things I think he should be impeached and prosecuted for (and no, I won’t elaborate here).

  2. stex52 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    There but for the grace of God……. I don’t want to sound condescending. I am glad that I got through my 30’s without a Minder (other than my wife).

    • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM

      How about Tim Tebow? His heart’s in the right place and they’d get along like a soul on fire.

      • CJ - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        beat me to it.

      • stex52 - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:30 AM

        Tebow doesn’t bother me much one way or the other. But I suspect that his little light will get snuffed out rather quickly in the morass of pro football.

      • CJ - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Doesn’t bother me either, but they’d be great for each other.

        How about a 4 team trade? Cowboys send Romo to Denver for Tebow. Of course that’s not a fair deal, so Rangers send a couple low rated prospects to the Yankees for a few signed Derek Jeter baseballs to send to the Cowboys to even out the deal, with the understanding that Tebow travels with the Rangers up until the NFL season starts.

      • wendell7 - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:12 AM

        Speaking as a Broncos fan, .. we don’t want Romo

  3. deathmonkey41 - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    The Devil once urged me to watch a Sandra Bullock movie, but I was strong enough to say no.

    • Old Gator - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      That wasn’t strength. That was your survival instinct.

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      Now, now, to be fair, she once did this cute little soft-core scene in a movie a long time ago.

  4. JBerardi - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    “Narron helped keep Hamilton’s mind right when he was in a slump. Or a funk. He was the guy in the adjoining hotel room on the road that Hamilton could talk to when the slugger wanted to discuss God’s plan for his life at 2 a.m. Or when the devil urged Hamilton to take a drink or use drugs.

    You know, if there’s one defining aspect of Josh Hamilton in specific and these Evangelical God-botherers in general, it’s that they are completely incapable of taking responsibility for their own actions.

    The “Josh Hamilton as a hero” stuff really bothers me. I understand the guy’s had some serious challenges with his life and although I have a lot of problems with the things he believes I get that those beliefs serve a purpose for him. I don’t hate the guy for being deeply flawed individual, but I do hate it when he externalizes those flaws (The Devil coaches third base, apparently), and the media goes along with it, because he’s an officially approved Good Guy, and we all know Good Guys are good guys.

    • stex52 - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      Agreed about the externalizing.

      But I think most of us root for him because of the redemption angle. We all know our own little dark corners, and we want to think if someone else can fix the problems we can, too.

      • Francisco (FC) - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:14 AM

        We all know our own little dark corners

        Or Dark Passenger perhaps?

    • randygnyc - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      I’d argue that JH is really a bad guy. A VERY bad guy, who left to his own devices, would be living the life of a serious drug abuser. It’s one thing to “party” away your youth, it’s quite another to let your life become inundated with drugs, crime and violence after being sober. It always appears his quest to remain sober is tedious, at best.

    • kellyb9 - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:25 AM

      Did you read the first paragraph “Hamilton is a 30-year-old man with a wife and four kids. Ultimately, he’s responsible for his own actions…”? However he decides gets over his “demons” is ultimately a good thing. I think you’re reading too much into the wording than the actual results.

      • JBerardi - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        Yeah, I read that. Then I read the next part that completely contradicts it.

      • kellyb9 - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        Understandable, but keep in mind Hamilton didn’t write or say this exactly. Some guy on ESPN Dallas trying to get hits did.

      • JBerardi - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        I know, but I read the “ultimately, he’s responsible for his own actions” as coming from the author, and the part about everything he does being either motivated by God or the Devil is coming from from Hamilton. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s the sense I get from this and from pretty much everything else I’ve heard about Hamilton.

    • paperlions - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      At least such people externalize on both ends, they don’t take as much personal responsibility as they should and they don’t take as much personal credit as they should. Hamilton wasn’t an addict because of the devil, but because of his own weaknesses and poor choices….and Hamilton didn’t get clean because of god, but because of his own good choices, his own strength to stay clean, and because of the support of his friends and family.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        Paper,
        I think you are awesome and all but I think you have this a bit wrong. No addict has the personal strength to have any meaningful sobriety because of their own personal strength. It is about putting faith in something greater than oneself (whether that be some spiritual entity or a collective group of those trying to accomplish the same thing)….essentially not being ones own God…giving up self will, because after all it was that same self will that lead down the path of hell on earth to begin with.

      • paperlions - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        That faith IS personal strength, the fact that they choose to externalize it doesn’t make it external. Playing psychological games with oneself surely helps….everyone does it in some fashion to make overwhelming tasks more approachable, but it is still a person’s choice to continue the game of self deception, and it is personal strength (and support from friends/family) that allows for that game to persist….the “faith” doesn’t come from the outside

      • paperlions - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        You are awesome too ( :-) ), I admire anyone that can resist daily and ever-present temptations that those like myself are lucky enough to not be subject to….stay strong.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        But that strength is derived externally….whether that faith is derived from a collective group or an external entity. I’ve never heard anybody with meaningful sobriety (meaning not just abstinent from the drink or the drug but also live happy, manageable lives) credit themselves for their sobriety. I don’t think that is a practice of self deception….it stems from true belief in something greater than myself.

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      Berardi, so you only have a problem with a person believing in God and the Devil having something to do with a person’s lives and choices? If they believe that. If they truly believe it, they do have a direct impact on their lives. Reality is what you make it sometimes. Mostly all “Evangelical God-botherers” as you like to call them are fully aware that they make their own choices, thus their own consequences. I’m not a religious man, yet I never feel the need to put believers down to make my lack of belief seem like the right choice myself. If following the word of God helped this man, then it helped this man, plain and simple.

      • JBerardi - Dec 15, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        “I’m not a religious man, yet I never feel the need to put believers down to make my lack of belief seem like the right choice myself.”

        That’s nonsense. There’s plenty of people who believe really strongly that what they need for their society to function is for women to go uneducated and be veiled in public. There’s people who once fully believed that the Bible contained the justification for slavery. There’s people who believe that there’s a secret military base in the southwest with about 50 spaceships stashed in it, and people who believe that a cabal of Jewish bankers run the world. People believe in all sorts of ridiculous nonsense. And this isn’t a trivial matter. Some of these beliefs can kill. Other simply poison the mind.

        I don’t put people down for having beliefs. I put people down for having shitty beliefs. Everything isn’t equal and valid just because someone happens to believe it, and religious beliefs are not above criticism. There’s plenty of people who have religious beliefs that are reasonable, nuanced and in my ways nobel. I don’t think Josh Hamilton is one of them.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        Hamilton’s belief that god has a major role in his life and decisions is shitty? I think you’re wrong. And I think it’s pretty shitty of you to feel that way actually. As far as all of those other points you mentioned, well I’m not really sure where you were going with that since in context, when I said “believers” I was talking about religious people, not the people you described. Sure people have crazy beliefs, and the fact that you lump them all with Hamilton because of his religious beliefs kind of says you are indeed against religion even if you won’t admit it.

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Before I continue, in the interest of full disclosure, I am just over 10 years clean and sober. I lived a drug and alcohol fueled life for quite some time. My problem with Hamilton is as follows, lack of personal accountability for ones actions and behaviors is fundamentally against the principles I believe in and others in the recovery community adhere to. In fact, it is all about personal accountability. Furthermore, using a glorified babysitter to help ensure ones long term sobriety is ridiculous dangerous and I fear is setting himself up for disaster. I sincerely hope I am wrong though. See, the ultimate goal is not to free oneself from the bondage of alcohol/drug abuse rather to improve ones perception of self and the world… to set out to remedy those defects of character that keep us sick….to give ourselves an alternate way of dealing with the world and ourselves other than alcohol/drug use. The inevitable byproduct is a life free of alcohol and drugs but the goal is to live a happy and joyous life.

    • stex52 - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM

      Sincere congratulations on arriving where you have. I seem to be fortunate in that such things have a limited hold on me. So I can’t claim to be all that knowledgeable. But the people I have talked to in the past have indicated that a lot of these programs emphasize both personal responsibility and the help of a higher power.

      I wonder where Josh is on the former?

    • CJ - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:10 PM

      having an accountability partnet doesn’t mean Hamilton has no personal accountability of his own. An accountability partner is someone who you can verbalize your struggles, emotions, desires, temptations, etc. with and help you process through them. Someone who is in a better position to take a step back and see the big picture and help you process it.

      We’re not talking about Jiminy Cricket here, just a sounding board who makes himself available when needed. Though I do find it kind of odd the last accountibility guy was essentially a “roadie”. That’s a little over the top IMO.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        Right….typically they are called sponsors. This seems like a glorified baby sitter. Big difference.

  6. phukyouk - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    What i wouldn’t give for an “accountability partner”…. all those months grounded as a teenager

  7. sknut - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    @JBerardi
    Do you know anyone that has struggled with addiction? Those who have do need someone by their side. Why do you think so many people go to AA meetings, there is power in numbers for most people.

    Is far reaching to say that he is incapable of accepting responsiblity for his actions, we don’t know what he has shared with his family or his savior in private. Just because your a Christian doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable. It just means you are saved. And yes just because he is a self-proclamined Christian doesn’t mean he is a good guy either. Its actions and deeds that matter more than words.

  8. lewp - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    OK, I’ll take the job as “Accountability Partner” for JH.

    Should beat my current job of taking calls in a call center and people complaining about their mortgage.

    I bet it pays much better too, and I get to watch baseball a zillion days per year.

  9. 12strikes - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Since MLB does not have a Rooney Rule, he can actually get right to hiring the right person, and not having bogus, time wasting interviews with people that have no chance of getting the job.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 15, 2011 at 8:58 PM

      I don’t think the Rooney Rule would stop an NFL player from getting whoever he wanted to be his accountability partner.

  10. motherscratcher23 - Dec 15, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    He should talk to Butters.

    Butters is a great accountabilibuddy.

    • foreverchipper10 - Dec 15, 2011 at 5:58 PM

      AHHHH. I combed through all the comments to make sure it wasn’t mentioned and, alas, there it is. The last one.

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