In essence, union is saying that there is no “relapse” clause in Hamilton’s contract, and that no such provision can override JDA and CBA.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 11, 2015
There are numerous articles tackling the unfavorable response by Angels management and ownership towards Hamilton, who, if we were being empathic, is suffering from addiction and obviously needs help. He was good enough to seek help rather than hide and continue down a path of destruction, yet the people in charge who could set up mechanisms to assist him seem to be throwing him under the bus. In fact, none of this should be public knowledge…
But again, MLB works for ownership and its own interests, not the players. And despite having the strongest professional athlete union in known existence, having negotiated safeguards to ensure Hamilton gets some kind of help, he will still have to deal with an organization that would love nothing else than to get rid of him and the massive pile of money they’re still responsible for. It’s sort of like what the New York Yankees are trying to do with Alex Rodriguez, especially when he surpasses Willie Mays‘ home run milestone. It’s almost like clubs are not thinking clearly when handing out armored trucks full of cash, and then hoping against hope that their assets-turned-liabilities will do something that can allow them to void the contract. I would consider it even worse than how they currently treat minor league players, but at least Hamilton and Rodriguez have a Heisenberg pile of money to fall back on.
I don’t know what will ultimately happen to Josh Hamilton, but I hope he does get the help he needs. And I also hope that the Angels pay him what he’s due because they were such pricks about the situation.