Not all teams turn their backs on players with drug problems


As the Angels’ appalling treatment of Josh Hamilton wears on, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reminds us that not all teams turn their back on players with drug problems in a craven effort to recoup some money they agreed to pay. For example, the Milwaukee Brewers and their treatment of pitcher Jeremy Jeffress, who was twice suspended for marijuana use while in the minor leagues:

Jeffress, suspended for 50 games in 2007, and 100 games in 2009, had the Brewers awaiting him with open arms. They placed him in drug rehabilitation centers after each suspension, and if not for them, Jeffress wonders whether he’d even have a baseball career.

Jeffress and his agent both wonder how the Angels could be doing what they’re doing. So do I. So do many people.

The Angels should either welcome Hamilton back, stop the media campaign and stop their attempts to circumvent his contract or they should simply release him and allow him to get on with his career with another club. That they’re unwilling to do either of those things reflects terribly on them as a club and on its owner as a human being.