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Angels hire Josh Hamilton’s accountability partner

Dec 16, 2012, 8:45 AM EDT

hamilton getty Getty Images

Angels owner Arte Moreno told reporters soon after Josh Hamilton‘s introductory press conference on Saturday at Downtown Disney that there was “no special language” in the outfielder’s five-year, $125 million contract laying out consequences for a potential drug or alcohol relapse. But that doesn’t mean Anaheim’s higher-ups aren’t taking measures to ensure that Hamilton remains on the right path.

According to beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have hired Hamilton’s accountability partner, Shayne Kelley, away from the Rangers. He will technically serve as a major league staff assistant for the Halos, but Kelley’s primary objective will be to ensure that Hamilton makes good decisions at home and on the road. That presumably involves regular check-ins and drug tests.

Hamilton had two known relapses during his time with Texas — most recently in February 2012.

The Angels are obviously hoping for five seasons of healthy, incident-free production from the former No. 1 overall pick, who told USA Today in 2006 that he had “literally tried every drug on the street.”

  1. sbmcintosh36 - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM


    • dawgpoundmember - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Congratulations! You are now be promoted to head burger flipper at Burger King.

      • bchapman2011 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        I love when people try to talk smack and they do not even have a grasp on spelling and grammar.

  2. sbmcintosh36 - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Would’ve been better of hiring an accountabilibuddy instead…..
    How bad is this team going to be in 3-4 years as these guys are a little older and all at the max point in their contacts?
    Cj,Weaver, King Albert, Josh that’s gonna be what 125 mill right there think Arte is taking a page out of George’s book it’s a now move and hard to fault him Josh is amazing but for how long??

  3. MyTeamsAllStink - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    So where’s the outrage about the Angels spending freely?The Dodgers get ripped for it but nothing about Anaheim doing it?

    • truckel5 - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      The Dodgers payroll is $100 million more than the Angels payroll.

      • rayfeathers - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        the angels are the poor man’ s dodgers. even trying to steal our city for their name. have fun with coke boy.

      • bchapman2011 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        Rayfeathers I am a Dodgers fan but that is a ridiculous comment. The Dodgers have made more questionable decisions over the past year than any other orginization. Carl Crawford???? The guy has not played in two years and LA is on the hook for over 100 million. Josh Beckett???? The guys arm has not been the same for years and he is a locker room cancer. Bulding a championship team is all about having great chemistry and taking a chance on a big free agent when you feel you are close to having a championship caliber team. You cannot buy a ring. Just ask the Yankees.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        Those numbers are a little skewed. It’s showing 22 players for the Dodgers and just 10 for the Angels. I assume it’s not accounting for anyone who will be arbitration eligible or anything, just the guys under guaranteed contracts for 2013.

    • kkkershaw22 - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      Yeah maybe they should have just kept there payroll at 90mil just so the other teams can be happy

    • tashkalucy - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      1. The Dodgers are putting a lot of money into pitching.

      2. The Dodgers are not giving all their long-term contracts to players past 30 that have peaked and are slowly beginning their downward glide.

      The Dodgers are the future of SoCal baseball. They must be jumping up and down in the Dodger PR offices and the financial suite. The Angels are reverting to what they were in SoCal for decades – a wannabe baseball team that hope the fans will love them more then the Dodgers. It’s going back to what it was before Fox and McCourt – if the Angel game starts first we watch that. Once the Dodger game starts we switch over to their game, maybe checking into the Anglel game for updates….maybe not.

      Hamilton at 3 years $75M was a little rich, but what the heck at a time when power hitters are in short supply. But 5 years at $125M? One of the dumbest moves I’ve seen in MLB in years.

      • theduuuuuuuuuude - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:00 PM

        This is an hilariously absurd opinion. What exactly are you basing it on? The Dodgers were 5th in attendance this year, selling just 300,000 more tickets than the Angels in a city with over 10,000,000 compared to the population of OC with is just about at 3,000,000. Yeah the Angels are a “wannabe team”. Remind me again which team has a world series championship in more recent history? The Dodger’s last championship was in 1988. You’ve got no room to talk $hit as a Dodger’s fan when your team has done exactly nothing in 24 years. Granted, it’s been a decade since the Angels won the world series, but let’s not start dubbing competitive franchises as “wanna teams”.

    • Kevin Gillman - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      It’s wasted money if neither team makes the playoffs, and let’s face it, it’s a very real possibility.

  4. sidelineshot - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    The ink on the contract isn’t even dry yet, and management is already feeling little palpitations over this guy.

  5. sbmcintosh36 - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Why does anyone care what they spend???
    These guys obviously know a little more than we do about running a baseball team…..well most of them do.

  6. historiophiliac - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    I’m not sure what Shayne Kelley makes, but I’m inclined to believe it’s not enough anyway.

  7. willclarkgameface - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I so want a babysitter too. I’d do this Portlandia style.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Kelley is no “babysitter.” He prefers the term “passive restraint system,” thank you.

  8. miketreedy - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    So you pay this guy $125m and you need to hire him a babysitter. Of all the sports headcases in the history of sports I have ever heard of such a thing. The Rangers are much better off without this knucklehead.

    • sabatimus - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      So nice to see on this forum compassionate people who clearly know everything there is to know about addiction…grow up, please.

      • miketreedy - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        It’s not me that needs to grow up. It’s Josh Hamilton. Seriously, if you are paying that much money to a player you shouldn’t need to hire a person to travel with them to make sure they don’t go get high. Thanks though for being such a good blog samaritan though. I’m sure you are the expert on all addictions.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:26 AM

      How many “headcases in the history of sports” quit playing because of a debilitating addiction only to win an MVP just a few years later? There are no comps for Josh Hamilton. If it works for him, so be it. Of what concern is his accountability partner to you?

  9. beerjunkie69 - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    A babysitter.

  10. ThisIsBaseball - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    If he fails one of the accountability-partner’s drug tests, does it get reported to MLB?

  11. sisqsage - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Don’t call him coke boy.
    He said he tried everything.

  12. jimbo75025 - Dec 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Hmm, well you’ve just invested $125 million in the guy so might as well kick in an extra 80K a year for someone Hamilton feels comfortable with.

    That being said, very risky move by the Angels in sinking that nuch money and length of contract to a guy who has to have someone else carry his cash/credit cards for him in fear that he will run out and buy drugs. On the bright side, guess Hamilton kicked caffeine and tobacco this year, so not many drugs out there for him to have to recover from. Wonder if his accountability partner jumps on him if he sees him with a bottle of Diet Coke?

    • thereisaparty - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:18 AM

      The fact that Hamilton works so tirelessly to remove even the smallest of temptations (ex. not carrying cash) should be proof that this move is not risky at all. He has up to 23 teammates who drink, yet no one is worried about the risk of them possibly drinking and driving.

      • jimbo75025 - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:17 AM

        Well, I give Hamilton credit for trying-really, I do. That being said he has had two incidents that we know of as they were public. Who knows if anything has happened privately that we do not know about.

        Add in his tobacco/caffeine issues this past season which just seemed to me to be hollow excuses for poor performance.

        $25 million/yr for 5 years just seems inflated for a guy who tanked the second half of the season and seems to have the frailty of someone twice his age. All the crap he put into his body in the past may or may not be a factor in that, but either way no reason to think that it will improve with age.

      • thereisaparty - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        I was only discussing the risk in regards to his addiction (“That being said, very risky move by the Angels in sinking that nuch money and length of contract to a guy who has to have someone else carry his cash/credit cards for him in fear that he will run out and buy drugs”).

        And the two public incidents were him drinking. When any other major league player gets intoxicated during the offseason it is a non-story.

  13. reeggss - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    This is a big risk for health reasons, not addiction reasons. He played with “health” issues last year, and injuries have plagued him in year’s past. One could argue he has yet to play a full year in the mlb, maybe 2008. He has cried about tobacco issues that he chose to give up during the season as opposed to the off season then used it as a crutch. He cried about caffiene, his eye color, night games, etc. Dropped a routine fly ball and struck more times than A-rod in the clutch and dogged it in the field and down the base paths. Then you decide to pay him $25 mil a year for 5 years at the ripe and tender age of 31? Another good business move by Nolan. Texas is not happy to see him leave because past drug abuse or even his play, it is his attitude. The Rangers did a great job of keeping it in the clubhouse, hopefully the Angels dont. Winning has a way of hiding your flaws.

  14. kappy32 - Dec 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    I’ve been sober 3.5 years & I don’t need a damn babysitter. It’s all within myself to stay sober. I have a support network, I have a sponsor, but a friggen babysitter? I’m sorry but there are thousands of recovering addicts & alcoholics who don’t need the attention & precautions that Josh does. He gives all those in recovery a bad name, seen as though we are all mentally weak & unable to say no. My willpower is strong enough. This guy’s sobriety act is getting tired, real quick, especially amongst those who live it.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:21 AM

      Just because others don’t use such extensive measures, Josh shouldn’t either? You don’t have to celebrate the man, but to knock him down for taking a more extreme approach seems harsh.

  15. stex52 - Dec 17, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    It seems to me that in return for that absurdly huge contract, Josh could at least pay for his own acountabuddy.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 18, 2012 at 12:26 AM

      He might very well pay back the organization (I am unaware if this has been addressed publicly). In order for the accountability partner to be in the dugout every game, he must be in uniform and a team employee. Thus, he must be given a position by the Angels organization.

  16. RUAHORNH8R - Dec 18, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    U numb nuts that think he’s a baby for having a “babysitter”, are clueless… The “addict” that says he has no will power???
    Please, I’m an addict as well, I have sobriety too but my life is completely different. If I were to thrust you into fame , and fortune. Give you a bank account with $100 million, all your “entourage” that wants to party. The super model women that want your c&$k…. You would relapse too, no question, I know I would!!!
    So , until you have walked in his shoes, do not judge. You look silly

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