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Josh Hamilton and the Angels are limiting the role of his “accountability coach”

Feb 26, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

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Josh Hamilton has long had an “accountability coach” or “accountability partner” accompany him at all times when at the ballpark and on road trips. The idea is to have someone to keep an eye on him and help him deal with the temptations and difficulties which come with being a drug and alcohol addict.  The OC Weekly reports, however, that the role of this person is being limited:

The franchise released a statement that says Hamilton has, in his own words, “downsized the role” of his accountability partner, having him only accompany the slugger on road games and not dress for games in a uniform like an additional coach. Among the partner’s duties is handling the 32-year-old’s meal money.

“It’s time to cut the cord a little bit,” Hamilton says in the Halos’ release. “I don’t really use it for home games. I go to the park, I do what I need to do, I know what I need to do, and I have my family. That was one of the main reasons.”

He’ll still have someone on the road, but not at home, where he’ll rely in his wife more.

Whatever works best for him. All that matters is that he stay clean.

  1. stex52 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Good luck with it, Josh. I’m not one of your biggest fans, but I wish you all the best in this part of your life.

  2. sfm073 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Is his temptation still that strong that he needs someone to follow him around?

    • sabatimus - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Obviously. Are you familiar with addiction?

      • captainwisdom8888 - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        its his employers protecting their $125 million dollar investment more than anything…

        he had an aide in texas too

  3. 06cedmuho - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Reblogged this on 06cedmuho.

  4. rmithlo - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    How long till anotHer relapse?

  5. chip56 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    It all makes sense to me. I’m not sure why he would need someone in the dugout during games in the first place, but I’m not an addict so I can’t really speak to it.

  6. ltzep75 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Craig:

    Hate to be a pedant, but shouldn’t it be “rely on his wife more.”

    Did I say pedant? I meant immature and prurient child.

    • sabatimus - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Hahahaha “in” gives the sentence a whole new character now doesn’t it?

    • bbk1000 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Personally I’m not sure…..in my wife, on my wife, I have done it both ways….

  7. yordo - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    Grow up, son. You’re a disgrace in more ways than one.

    • sabatimus - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      Enumerate them, please.

      • yordo - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        He needs to be babysat because he has no self-control, he can’t hit now that he got a big contract and he’s fragile as fudge.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        Alcoholism is the only disease you can get yelled at for having. ‘Damn it, Otto, you’re an alcoholic.’ ‘Damn it, Otto, you have lupus.’ One of those two doesn’t sound right.
        Mitch Hedberg RIP

      • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Bill Baer? Is that you?

      • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        His “self control” is subject to biochemical challenges you cannot even imagine. For a “disgrace,” he’s still managed to marshal his talent and focus to make himself a successful professional athlete and multi-millionaire. and somehow to inspire the kind of love and devotion from his family that has held it together.

        And what, with yhttp://nbchardballtalk.wordpress.com/wp-content/themes/vip/nbcsports/img/post_comment.gifour lack of comparable challenges, have you made of yourself?

      • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        Let’s try that again, without the weird intercession of that URL:

        And what, with your lack of comparable challenges, have you made of yourself?

      • sabatimus - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        yordo, see “Are you familiar with addiction?” post above.

    • shadowshand - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      I’m relatively certain “yordo” mean idiot or moron.

  8. js20011041 - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    I wonder if his religious faith hurts him in trying to stay clean. He’s a grown man that has needed a babysitter to keep from completely self destructing. I understand that any addiction is tough, but his case seems to be an extremely volatile one. His faith hasn’t seemed to necessarily strengthen his resolve to stay clean. If you have a belief in which your successes are solely attributable to an invisible entity and you can explain your failures away to “god’s will”, I wonder how that affects your self reliance and ability to take responsibility for your actions. For instance, if he believed that he and he alone had the strength to beat his addiction, I wonder if that would positively reinforce good behavior and strengthen his resolve.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Trust me, no one beats themselves up for their behavior/actions more than Josh. I think that’s one of his problems. Dude is wound tight.

    • Old Gator - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      Different strokes. As you note, there are varying levels of addiction which are consequences of both a person’s emotional and psychological environment and his or her particular body chemistry. I’m an agnostic leaning to atheism myself and have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever for superstition used to justify bigotry and group exceptionalism, but from a purely psychological perspective there are plenty of examples of people who have successfully leveraged their “faith” to get their lives in order. It might not work as well with Hamilton’s unique set of issues as it might for someone else with different environmental situations or biochemistry. Some people are fortunate and they find the right trick they need to play on themselves, whether it’s evangelical Christianity or Wicca or Buddhism or secular yoga or AA or even just plain love of a caring partner. Some, unfortunately, never quite connect with the right path onward. I hope Hamilton can keep it all together.

  9. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    I understand that any addiction is tough, but his case seems to be an extremely volatile one.

    I don’t think you do, honestly.

    “You had a drink”
    “I’m an alcoholic, I don’t have one drink. I don’t understand people who have one drink. I don’t understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table. I don’t understand people who say they’ve had enough. How can you have enough of feeling like this? How can you not want to feel like this longer?”

    • js20011041 - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      Yes, I understand that an addict cannot have “just one.” But that does not absolve them of all responsibility for having that “one”. It does not absolve them of the responsibility for the addiction in the first place. I don’t object to having sympathy for someone dealing to an addiction. What I do object to is the notion that being an addict absolves ALL personal responsibility. Yes, saying “no” is tougher when you’re an addict. Yes, saying “no more” is almost impossible if you’re an addict. But, if that’s how your brain works, you have the responsibility to stay out of situations in which you will be tempted. If you’re an alcoholic, you can’t go hang out at the bar. If you’re addicted to cocaine, you can’t go hang out at parties in which you know cocaine will be present. I know it’s hard, but life sucks sometimes. Be an adult and deal with it.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        So, he can never go out to eat at a restaurant with a bar or to a ballpark or a grocery store with a wine/beer section? At some point, exposure is unavoidable, so planning for what could happen is just wisdom.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        “Be an adult and deal with it.”

        That is what he is doing. Maybe when he retires, he won’t have such a public life and thus will need only his family and his faith. Regardless, anything he does that helps him not take that first drink, etc, should be applauded.

      • js20011041 - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        If his addiction is so strong that he cannot even go to the grocery store, I’d worry about keeping mouth wash or rubbing alcohol around him. Yes, any and all exposure is unavoidable. But there is a world of difference between being in a ballpark and seeing people drinking beer in the stands, and making a conscious decision to go to a bar. If he was diving into the stands to take drinks from people, I’d say yes, he shouldn’t be going to the ball park. If his self control is so low that he cannot reliably view a menu and order drinks without ordering alcohol, then yes, he should not be eating out. He knows what tempts him and how much. He needs to tailor his activity in such a way that minimizes his chances of relapse. I know that that means he probably misses out on some social activities, but in the end, isn’t that a small price to pay?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Be an adult and deal with it.

        And again, you keep showing how little you know about addiction. It has nothing to do with being an adult, as most people who are in treatment/meetings for this type of stuff have dealt with far more serious sh1t than we can dream about. The problem is those feelings that I typed above NEVER GO AWAY. You’re never cured, you’re never free, you always are tempted.

        So yes, it can be as simple as never go somewhere there is alcohol. Well congrats, you’ve pretty much excluded yourself from every wedding, every restaurant, and every social gathering possible. Are your friends understanding and willing to not drink around you? Or do you have to cut them out of your life as well? How do you avoid alcohol as a baseball player when it’s everywhere in the stadium?

      • js20011041 - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        How many times do I have to explain that I do, in fact understand that addiction is hard to deal with? Yes, life sucks as an addict. I understand this. But that’s the reality of that person’s life. You seem to want to say that any and all actions committed by an addict are somehow absolved by their addiction. I’m simply saying that they need to take a little more responsibility than that. They can’t control how much self control they have when their addictive substance is within reach, but they CAN control whether or not they are in the presence of that addictive substance.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        As church stated, alcohol is not avoidable. It’s even in the clubhouse. Again, the cravings and temptations are constant and life-long. If he needs to have someone with him to avoid falling off the wagon, then he should be applauded for having that person there. Yes, it would have been far better if he had never abused drugs or became an alcoholic in the first place, but what happened in the past cannot be undone. The bottom line now is he has been doing his best to remain clean and sober for several years now. The people who are calling him varying forms of weak or disgraceful for how he is going about remaining clean and sober are essentially condemning him for trying to do that right thing.

      • js20011041 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        And how many times has Hamilton relapsed in the clubhouse? Every time he’s relapsed, it’s been at a bar. If you’re an alcoholic, you can’t go to bars, period. You can come up with any number of what ifs, in regards to him coming into contact with alcohol, but the fact remains that every time he has relapsed, it’s been an entirely preventable situation. He wasn’t sitting at home watching TV, when a beer miracled into his lap. If he decides that going out and having fun is more important than maintaining his sobriety, then my sympathy is gone.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        How many times do I have to explain that I do, in fact understand that addiction is hard to deal with?

        Because you say it, and then completely diminish the difficulty when you make the following comments:

        He’s a grown man that has needed a babysitter to keep from completely self destructing.

        If his self control is so low…

        I’m simply saying that they need to take a little more responsibility than that

        They are taking responsibility, ffs. They go to AA meetings, they try to avoid any places that serve alcohol. They get life coaches to help them. My uncle has tried to stay sober for about 15 years, but it took him almost 10 to be comfortable around alcohol. And even with that, he relapsed last winter and had to check himself into a hospital. It’s not like he’s sleeping in seedy motels and hanging out with the Cali cartel.

        If you understand what he’s going through, stop saying things like “I get this BUT” or “If he wants to do this, he should…”

        And lastly:

        You seem to want to say that any and all actions committed by an addict are somehow absolved by their addiction.

        You are so far off the mark here, the bullet hasn’t even landed yet. No one absolves an addict of his or her actions. They know they are responsible for what they do. Sometimes they need a little help in preventing them from relapsing.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Dude, the relapse starts before you even get to the bar — when you’re in the dugout having a crappy game and you’re mad at yourself and you’re tempted to go back to your old means of coping, etc. For you, going out to the bar is for fun. For him, it is not.

      • js20011041 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        Oh, I’m sorry. I must have been mistaken. I thought those pictures of Hamilton doing body shots of off a girl’s chest, and dancing, and smiling looked like he was having a good time. My bad.

      • sabatimus - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        You had me until how Hamilton has to “have the responsibility to stay out of situations in which [he] will be tempted.”

        To an addict, almost ANY situation can be a using situation.

      • sabatimus - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        And raysfan1 is correct: he IS being an adult and dealing with it. Since access to alcohol is ubiquitous, Hamilton having a support system like this is a very adult thing to do.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        See, that’s how it works. You’re upset, you go to the bar, and pretty soon you’re drunk and having a good time dancing and taking shots and you aren’t mad and frustrated anymore. Everything is fun again. Do not confuse the effect with the cause. You have it backwards. Drinking is an escape.

      • js20011041 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        Of course “any situation could be a using situation.” He could see a hobo drinking out of a brown paper bag and decide to steal his drink. He could see a beer truck stopped at a light and decide to hijack it. That’s not what I’m talking about. If his addiction was as strong as you are making it out to be, then he couldn’t leave the house without relapsing. You’re talking about mythical levels of addiction. That’s not what has happened. He’s relapsed because he’s gone to bars. Just taking a stab in the dark here, but is the primary function of a bar not to serve alcohol? So knowing that 1) Josh Hamilton is an alcoholic, and 2) that if he goes to a bar, he is likely to be served alcohol, in what way is he not 100% responsible for going to a bar and relapsing? All I want is for people to acknowledge his personal responsibility for his sobriety. Stop minimizing it. It isn’t cancer and he isn’t a victim.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        “Stop minimizing it.” It’s you who is minimizing it. No, it is not cancer, but it is a disease. It is in curable too, so he will be dealing with its effects forever. Yes, actions and decisions have consequences. He’s not asking for your understanding, but folks should understand relapses will occur (not can occur), and the important thing is for him to keep fighting it and to do everything he can to avoid the relapses. One more time, if having a life coach with him on road trips helps him not make bad choices, then having the life coach there is simply the right thing to do. Doing the right thing is not weakness.

      • sabatimus - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        js, do a good bunch of research instead of continuing to dig yourself a hole here.

  10. dhar77 - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    He said the same thing in Dallas before the Sherlocks episode. Not saying he is going to relapse, but this worries me.

  11. shanabartels - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    It must be frustrating to be an adult who can’t trust himself or herself to carry around any cash (I’m pretty sure I’ve read before that Josh Hamilton never carries more than like $5 in his wallet). As a non-addict, it boggles my mind — I’d go nuts if I had a babysitter. But if I had a problem with drugs, alcohol, gambling, excessive shopping, or anything else that would lead me to financial and personal ruin, I would hope people would understand if I had to set limits on what I could and couldn’t handle on my own. If Hamilton still thinks he needs a friend around to carry his cash, he’s probably not kidding around about his limits. We should respect that he’s trying to do the right thing and he knows when he needs to ask for help.

    Most of the time when addicts make bad decisions that lead to relapses or fatal overdoses, we ask in frustration why they continued to hang out with the wrong people or why they refused to ask for help before it was too late. Hamilton is trying to make sure he doesn’t fall into either of those traps. I applaud that.

  12. J. Robert Hanson - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    “Whatever works best for him. All that matters is that he stay clean.”

    I guess the editorial comment was necessary by the writer of the article.

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Oh no, not an opinion statement on a blog! The horrors!

      • J. Robert Hanson - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:59 PM

        Oh yeah, right. This is a blog? How silly of me! You’re totally right–rotten opinions apply. Bring on the opinion statements.

  13. nymets4ever - Feb 26, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    125 million bux for absolutely nothing. Isn’t this guy some kind of fanatical Bible thumper now? What about that whole “Thou shalt not steal” thing? lol

    • ltzep75 - Feb 26, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Render unto Josh Hamilton, that which is Josh Hamilton’s.

    • sabatimus - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      What in the bloody hell are you talking about? The Angels put a contract sheet in front of him, he signs it, and now he’s stealing? Whatever.

    • Old Gator - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:49 AM

      I guess mutts4ever doesn’t feel he made a complete enough fool of himself over on the Hayhurst thread. You have to admire his perseverance, if nothing else.

  14. lenbias34pt - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    For me when i read he has a drug addict sitter it just makes my head spin as to why the Angels signed him for as much as they did.

    As far as Josh, $ isnt’ an issue, so whatever it takes to keep him off drugs.

    I just have issue with the Angels. How do they pay a guy that much sick coin if he has such a frail character?
    Not saying Josh can’t have a great life and be motivational etc etc, but who would say he is a person of high character?
    And has that character not failed him and the teams he’s played on most seasons?

    ‘Just Say Yes’ is a great book on drug use.

    • raysfan1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      He’s had a life coach/accountability partner since he was with the Rangers, probably with the Reds too. It was no secret, so the Angels certainly knew this when they signed him. I would be much more concerned with his history if he did not have one.

      • lenbias34pt - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        You could make a case for that Rays, but i believe i could make just as strong a case that a grown man that has such little faith in himself that he pays a man to follow him around to assure he wont’ use drugs is more of a concern.

        So even if he does stay clean, would you invest in this man?
        Are you going to expect this guy to make good choices in his workouts, diets, and on the field?

        I’m not bashing Josh as much as i (and don’t we all) have to question the Angel GM?

      • raysfan1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        I’m not a GM of course and can’t really honestly imagine the money involved in any real sense. Certainly his history would have to be taken into account prior to signing him. However, I’d have been more leery of signing him based on his age, and his injury history.

      • raysfan1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:16 PM

        “Are you going to expect this guy to make good choices in his workouts, diets, and on the field?”

        That part I’d say was answered by his performance with the Reds and Rangers. He’s had a life coach for years, so his work ethic, etc, are not unknowns. The only concern for the team with his drug and alcohol history is relapse, and the presence of the life coach diminishes that–whether that’s enough to tilt the risk/reward odds enough to make it worth signing him can of course be debated. Obviously the Angels thought so.

        I personally think signing him was a mistake, but again that is due to his age and injury history.

  15. tbird05 - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    This is truly a difficult situation. As a “recovering” alcoholic, I understand the benefits of having a close, and trusted confidant to rely on. However, the program I rely on tends suggest anonymity as being the best policy. There are many reasons for this, but the main one being this: If I am not publicly professing how God has removed the obsession to drink, then there will be little backlash (or false judgment passed) about what God is, or what he is capable of, if I happen to take a drink. Now, most sensible believers (insert whatever your faith is) will realize that people are being foolish if they place the blame on God rather than the alcoholic, but that doesn’t stop many people from wholesale condemnation. With that being said, this very public admission might end up doing more harm than good. On the flip side, how is someone supposed to share such an inspiring story about how their God has revolutionarily changed their life, and perhaps even saved it? Well, I think the principle of attraction rather than promotion works best. Words might hold weight with some, but actions tend to mean more. Also, in my experience, the message of recovery has a greater effect if shared in more intimate, confidential setting.
    I can appreciate a lot of what Josh stands for, and can relate to him a great deal. I also pity him for having this part of his life under constant speculation. I don’t know how important his accountability partner is, but I know it would be more difficult for me to participate in my recovery community if I was an extremely famous professional athlete. With that being said, it might be really difficult for him to have a normal support group that doesn’t look at him different because of his occupation.
    Although I’m not particularly religious, I hope Josh’s plan of action works for him.

  16. lenbias34pt - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Good luck Tbird.
    and well said.

  17. sandwiches4ever - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    I’ve witnessed what happens when alcoholics and addicts rely on themselves and only themselves to try and recover from addiction. It ain’t pretty. I saw the results in my family, and knowing my own addictive tendencies, I made a choice early on to not drink, etc.

    But the insidious thing about any mental disorder (and addiction to a lot of things is a mental disorder) is the fact that they are incurable. You manage them. And with management, most people can function pretty well.

    He obviously has the means, so having a life coach\accountability coach as a tool in his toolbox of management strategies seems brilliant to me. That’s not weakness; weakness is saying, “Eh, screw it.” and just giving up. Weakness is trying to hide or minimize your problems behind tough talk about personal responsibility.

    I hope dialing back the responsibilities of his coach come through an analysis of where he’s at personally, and not just an attempt to appear “stronger”.

    • lenbias34pt - Feb 27, 2014 at 8:06 AM

      Character is the word missing from your vocabulary.

      Read Just Say Yes.
      OR
      Keep repeating Nancy Reagan

      What again was her educational back round and intellectual support for “just say No?”

  18. strictlythedanks - Feb 26, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    FYI its called an accountabilabuddy

  19. biffula - Feb 26, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    So glad the Rangers were able to cut ties with that loser. They squeezed every last good drop out of him. Now he’s got a calf strain. hee hee. Here that Angels? Thats the Hamilton binge time bomb ticking. When will it go off?

  20. favrewillplay4ever - Feb 27, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    I’m not an alcoholic, alcoholics go to meetings. I’m a drunk, get it straight!

    Seriously though, we can all question the choices Ham has made that got him to this place, but ripping him because he has an accountability coach?

    If you had the means to hire someone to help you get the best out of yourself, would you not?

    You want to lose 20 pounds.. Would it not help to have the physical trainer there 24/7 talking you out of that extra late night snack and pushing you to get one more workout in? Sure, it would be annoying as hell, but that’s not the point. He’s got that person there to look out for his best interests when his vision is cloudy and we should respect that. Respect the fact he’s trying to make a change.

    This is coming from someone who has no sympathy for a self induced addiction.

    I look at his addiction the same way I look at someone who contracted a disease by sharing heroine needles. Sucks to be them. But it was, in fact, their own damn fault.

  21. mayers59 - Feb 28, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    32 years old. Yup. Time to grow up and be responsible for yourself and be accountable to your family and yourself. If you know you shouldn’t drink. Don’t. It’s called growing up.

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