You hear that Josh Hamilton has been hospitalized with pneumonia and what's the first thing you think?
Can't help it. A guy with that kind of history of drug abuse who fell violently and infamously off the wagon two years ago and who still can't partake in a celebratory beer or Champagne dousing -- remember the ginger ale? -- out of fear of an uncontrollable craving will always raise eyebrows any time he gets more than a common cold.
Likely isn't a big deal. The Texas Rangers say he'll be released from the hospital probably today and should be full-speed ahead when spring training commences February 18 in Arizona.
Call me an asshole if you want, but it's the Rangers' outfielder who introduced this self-inflicted doubt into his life.
I had an upper respitory infection a few years back that was pretty ugly and I know people get sick. But it's not every day you hear of a 29-year-old pristine professional athlete getting hospitalized with pneumonia.
The Rangers are savvy to get out in front of this news. But the fact that they had to proves the point.You think Cowboys would put out a press release if Mat McBriar got pneumonia in the off-season?
I hope for the best for Hamilton and pray the worst of our doubts isn't in play here. But I also know that, when entering into long-term contract negotiations with Hamilton, the Rangers have to take into account his physical style of play, his possibly deteriorated immune system and, yes, the fine line he walks every day.