Wait, how is Josh Hamilton not taking responsibility?

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Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News went on TV yesterday and had this to say about Josh Hamilton’s recent fall off the wagon:

It’s time for Josh [Hamilton] to grow up. This thing about a week or so ago … he just cannot do that. But if also can’t wrap himself in the cloak of his faith, an accountability partner or the bartender, he’s gotta do it himself. There are a lot of people out there get up and deal with this same problem every day, and they handle it. It’s time for him to cut the free pass. You’re 30 and going to be 31 in May — you’ve got to deal with it yourself.

Did Fraley watch Hamilton’s press conference last week?  I did, and at no time did he blame anyone else but himself or do anything other than say how unacceptable his behavior was and how he needs to do better.  What “free pass” is Fraley speaking of?  I’ve seen none of it. Am I crazy?

Seems to me that Hamilton is proceeding like any other addict. Ups. Downs. Attempts to make his life better. It’s a life long struggle. He just happens to be doing it in public.

But I guess Fraley wants a cleaner narrative. One in which Hamilton is either a hero or a scoundrel. Too bad life doesn’t work like that.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.