Tuesday, August 11, 2009

6 comments Who Is Scum Again?

I wanted to remind everyone we still have 1 open slot in the BotB Yahoo Fantasy Football League. So someone can feel free to join up.

I am sure everyone has heard about Josh Hamilton's January fall from grace or have seen the pictures that were up on Deadspin.com showing him performing frat boy antics with women in an Arizona bar. The response has actually surprised me a little bit. I expected the media to jump all over him, especially this guy.

Instead Mariotti wrote a nice article about how he wants Josh Hamilton to succeed, which is a far cry from his response to Michael Phelps being caught smoking pot in pictures just once. He rakes Phelps over the coals for being caught smoking pot but let's Hamilton off the hook for licking whip cream off a girl's stomach at a bar when he has a wife and kids at home. The lesson as always is that Jay Mariotti is a hypocritical, vindictive hack writer.

I am not even going to get into Mariotti claiming last August that newspapers were dead, and quitting after a free trip to China was provided by the Chicago Sun-Times, and now he is reportedly going to a different Chicago paper...just as his non-compete clause runs out. Apparently the newspaper industry has been revived in the past year and just happens to coincide with when Jay's non-compete runs out. AOL, you got played a fool if these reports are correct.

I am not going to rake Jay Mariotti over the coals today, even though it is boatloads of fun to do. There is a different person I have my eye on today and that would be Mark Whicker of The Orange County Register. He thinks the guy who took the pictures of Josh Hamilton is scum. I don't think either person is scum. Why does there HAVE to be a bad guy in every situation? To me this is just a situation where a person struggling with alcohol and drug problems was caught on camera struggling to stay sober. In Mark Whicker's world where there is definite black and white and always a person who is bad, he sees scum.

The Gotcha Machine is a little rusty, it turns out.

I am going to need to take a minute to digest the idea the mainstream media is not taking a chance to absolutely rake Josh Hamilton over the coals for being caught in this position. Generally in my mind, the mainstream media IS The Gotcha Machine.

Seven months passed between the night Josh Hamilton sampled some shirt-removing alcohol in Tempe, Ariz., and the time the world got to see it.

Maybe the guy who took the pictures isn't such a bad guy. If he was really scum wouldn't he have sold or published these photos the absolute second he had taken them? Possibly the idea it took 7 months for these pictures to appear may show this person never had any intention of putting them out for the public to see and someone else somehow released the pictures? If the photographer was really a money grabbing, headline making, attention needing scum then these photos would have been published in January. That's just my initial thought.

Hamilton was surprised it took so long to process the pictures of his night at the museum, called Maloney's, involving some young female docents who turned him into a whipped-cream exhibit on the bar.

That's why he called Jon Daniels, the Texas Rangers general manager, the very next foggy morning, and why he explained it to Katie, who has walked this high wire next to her husband.

If his wife can get past his drug and alcohol addictions, then I am sure she can deal with him licking whip cream off a girl's body. Josh Hamilton seems like a genuinely good guy who made a mistake and it doesn't seem like he blames anyone but himself for this error in judgement. Wouldn't it be nice if there was no bad guy in this?

But the scum-laden photographer who caught Hamilton finally got someone to beam those photos on the Internet — and what a useful and beneficial invention it continues to be for mankind

Says the man who posts this column with his opinion on the Internet for all to read so he can get pageviews and can make more money from his employer.

I also don't think this guy "finally" got someone to publish the photos but finally "decided" to publish the photos. I am sure there was a market for these photos in January. Also, why doesn't anyone think Deadspin is scum for publishing the photos? The photographer is the only one who gets called scum for some reason.

That's how you handle a world that puts a camera in your keyhole, that demands the end of your privacy and free will because you happen to do something well.

It was a public bar in a public place. A public place where many people take pictures of each other being drunk and stupid. If a celebrity ends up in there, he/she is treated no differently. There is no keyhole and has nothing to do with the EA case at all. Not in the least. One was an blatant invasion of privacy and the other was pictures taken in a public place.

You look it right in the eye and make it blink, as all cowards do.

So it's ok to give publicity to Josh Hamilton and talk about what an inspiration he is, take pictures with him if you see him in public, hold him up as a hero to all trying to recover from soberiety, and give him all the positive publicity possible...but when he is caught in a compromising position in public and a picture is taken, that person is now a coward for giving negative publicity to Hamilton? If you hold yourself out there in the public eye then you are putting yourself under this scrutiny. Sad, but true.

"I got away from my relationship with the Lord," Hamilton said. "I remember the best thing about the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby last year was the opportunity to get interviewed and tell people about Christ.

Josh Hamilton seems like a really good guy. A fallable person like everyone else, but in this situation he was the one that was in a compromising position and as a public figure it got caught on camera. I think he understands he can't get all the publicity to talk about his relationship with Christ and ignore publicity when he screws up publicly. If only Mark Whicker understood this as well.

He took the bows and wrote a book but never pretended he had conquered something.

The fact he never pretended to conquer something doesn't mean that everyone expected him to not conquer it so publicly. Unfortunately for him it got caught on camera.

Although Hamilton said he didn't think he used drugs during his bacchanal, he also said he didn't remember much.

At least there are pictures that can help him remember it? Right?

The Rangers fell 4 1/2 games behind. But their right-fielder now gets an 0-0 count.

These are the kind of transitions that my 12th Grade AP English teacher hated. She called them "hokey transitions due to a lack of ability to create a proper conclusion to a paper."

Any jerk can click a camera phone.

How is this guy a jerk?

Let's get a scenario together...someone calls Mark Whicker and gives him a reputable tip that right now that Barry Bonds is high and threatening to jump out of a window at a building near his house and he should get down there quickly. At this point, Mark Whicker probably goes to the scene with a camera man to get pictures and the story, right? Is Mark Whicker a jerk for publishing pictures of Barry Bonds on the ledge and threatening to jump in the next day's paper? He would probably think not. This may not be the best example but I think you get what I am saying.

It's a rare young man who deliberately steepens the cliff that threatens his every step. What Josh Hamilton did Saturday was call out himself.

I have not lost any respect for Josh Hamilton because of this. I know it is a tough battle that he is going through, but he also didn't call himself out to the public. The pictures on Deadspin did that, This even fine, he doesn't have to tell everyone what happened, but the photographer is also not a jerk for one reason or another letting the pictures out to the public.

Hamilton is a public figure. I can't say I would have released the pictures publicly if I had taken them, but I also would not necessarily call the person a jerk and I would never even come close to comparing this situation to the EA situation. I think it is being a jerk to equate photos being taken in a hotel room of a person nude against their knowledge with a person drunk at a bar in a compromising position. They are two completely different things.

I tend to be a sucker for a sports writer writing more personal pieces on occasion. Tim Cowlishaw had an interesting perspective on the Josh Hamilton situation.

On an unrelated note, even though he is do a lot of money over the next couple of years, I really like the Alex Rios pick up for the White Sox. Of course, if he continues to stink it up like he has they may regret having to pay him so much down the road. For now, it seems like a really good risk to take, especially with Dye and others possibly coming off the payroll soon. Is Ken Williams underrated as a General Manager or properly rated?


Unknown said...

I don't understand where Whicker is coming from. The picture I saw looked like a posed for throw away camera shot, a little too good for your typical phone camera. The key though is that it was a POSED shot. This wasn't some person sneaking in dimly lit shots, these were "Dude! Take my picture with these hottie babes!"

The person taking the photos might not have even known this was Josh Hamilton, recovering baseball player, and only found out or realized it later. Maybe they were pissed off at Hamilton's backsliding cause they have had personal experiences so it was a revenge factor. Maybe they had a granny who needed a pacemaker put in and the money from the photos was the only way to pay for it. Perhaps the person found Hamilton's public born again persona annoying and did it to bring him down a notch. The truth is, we don't know how the pics ended up on Deadspin, and for Whicker to make blanket assumptions is crap.

On the other hand, having a few friends in AA and cousins who have battled drug addiction for many years, I wish Hamilton all the best. Addiction is a beast that you always hope others can get away from.

Bengoodfella said...

Hamilton was drunk and did pose for the photographs. I think Whicker believes that was invading Hamilton's privacy in some way. I think the weirdest part in this for me is that he was in Arizona in January drinking. Why was he there? Was he at a Cardinals game?

But yes, he did pose in the photographs and really that is why I don't think it was that bad. Sure he was drunk but it's not like the guy was sneaking behind pool tables or anything.

That's actually a great point. The person may not have known who it was and just wanted to take racy pictures of a girl getting her body licked by a guy...or perhaps he was so blasted the guy just had to get it on film. I thought maybe someone else knew who the pictures were of and they got a hold of them sent them to Deadspin. It was weird to wait so long, which made me think the "jerk" did not have bad intentions for a while. It's not as if the pictures are fake either and the guy is making things up.

I like Josh Hamilton and followed him for over a decade now, so I want him to get better and I actually like how he takes the blame for what happened and hasn't pointed the finger anywhere else but at himself. He could have made excuses but didn't.

Unknown said...

I'll say first that I don't have any problem with Josh Hamilton personally, i've found him a wee bit too self-assured, and I don't really root for him, but I have nothing against him.

What I do not understand is why the media decided in this case to treat Hamilton with kid gloves, they seem to want him to come out of this an even bigger "hero" than he supposedly was all because he admitted it was he in the photos. They also all seemed to ignore the quote of someone who was there who said that Hamilton asked "where he could get some blow".

Hamilton reminds me a lot of Steve Howe, who also turned to religion to fight addiction and also failed.

Anonymous said...


This whole saga sickens me. I don't even know why, either. I tell you, though, articles like this don't help. I think I am kinda annoyed at Deadspin for bringing this to light as I don't see a parallel to V. Young, Leinart, Big Ben etc. being caught in similar type photos. I think I'm also a little annoyed at Hamilton at leaving himself to the mercy of some entity like Deadspin or the MSM.

All in all, it's a losing proposition all around and it sucks. I am glad the Rangers didn't make this worse by publicly suspending the kid.

Also, I think he's a FA after 09. What does this mean for Josh? I'll take him on the Mets right now.

AJ said...

I'm sure playing for the Mets would be his best career move, I mean it's worked out so well for others...yes, thats sarcastic.

I'm going to go with what Reverend said.

I read his book after hearing all these great things about him, and its changed my mind on him completely. I'm not shocked he failed again at staying sober, and I won't be shocked when he keeps failing.

I still have no idea how he has not been suspended for life.

And one good half year doesn't make you great.

Bengoodfella said...

Josh Hamilton does have a little bit of a cocky attitude towards everything but that may be a result of his growing up an athlete and being told how great he is. I am shocked at how the media is treating him as well and I think it is because he has had such a public battle with alcohol and drugs and writers don't want to come down hard on him. It's funny because if any other athlete got caught in a similar situation the media would come down hard on them.

Just look at the reaction to Michale Phelps smoking pot. Maybe everyone expects it from Josh Hamilton, so it is not as big of a deal. I didn't know about that quote where he was asking where he could get some blow. I wonder if that is true...I don't know why someone would make this stuff up.

Whicker blames the photographer for this incident but the fact remains that no one had to print the pictures on the Internet as well. He is a public figure and I guess they thought the public would have interest in this type thing. I hate for him that his fall had to be so public but many times addicts fall off the wagon...just not in a public forum like this.

He should not have been suspended for this...I think I would take him on my team as well, though he isn't playing incredibly great at this point, I would still take him on the team as long as his asking price is not too high.

I guess the reason he has not been suspended for life is because he is trying to make an effort to get well. Steve Howe got 8 or 9 chances to Hamilton still has a little bit of work to catch up with him. Same thing with Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. I don't think MLB will suspend him if he is still making efforts to recover...which it seems like he is I guess.

His 2007 year wasn't so bad and he wasn't as bad last year in the second half of the season, he just wasn't as good as the first half of the season. Either way, he is having a bad year right now. I would still maybe take him on my team if the price was right.