Texas Rangers

Hey Josh Hamilton, WWJD?

My problem isn't that Texas Rangers' All-Star Josh Hamilton got drunk, took off his shirt and playfully licked whipped cream - and vice-versa - off three hot females in an Arizona bar last January. My beef isn't that a born-again guy who continually tells us I Am Second decided to - according to the photos that look like they belong in The Hangover credits - bat himself first that night.

Problem? Hardly. Jealousy? You betcha.

Even though he's a drug addict tested for cocaine three times a week, he's allowed to drink alcohol. He faces no disciplinary action from the Rangers or Major League Baseball. Fine, no quarrels.

But Hamilton made a mistake. And it's a whopper.

While trumpeting his faith in Jesus Christ, he conveniently forgot the virtues of honesty and integrity. He misplaced the bit about being forthcoming. Informing the Rangers, MLB and his wife, Katie, about his hiccup was fine and dandy. But sometime well before Saturday - back in January preferably or at least upon the commencement of spring training in February - Hamilton should've come clean and volunteered the same information with the media, his fans, his teammates and, for crying out loud, his personal chaperone.

Because how many times since that night at Maloney's Tavern has Hamilton given a motivational speech, testimony or interview in which he gave props to his Savior's strength and reiterated a sobriety dating back to Oct. 6, 2005?

Sorry, but not telling the truth - the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God - is tantamount to lying. Right?

Not the end of the world. Bob Hayes was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend despite a personal life that included an addiction to alcohol and a federal prison sentence for drug trafficking. Addicts slip up. We're all flawed.

But now you know why some of us in the media roll our eyes and put down our pens when athletes like Quincy Carter start quoting scripture in interviews. The higher we uplift Christians, the bigger the bruises when they fall. We report the positive; gotta also publicize the negative.

Says Hamilton, "I don't feel like I'm a hypocrite. I feel like I'm human."

It's a cold, cruel reminder that - despite the hot start in Texas and the Home Run Derby magic in Yankee Stadium - he isn't super human after all. In fact, he isn't even a .240 hitter.

My other question in all this was where was Johnny Narron? And why wasn't he at least told of the incident? Not that it isn't ultimately Hamilton's responsibility, but isn't Narron paid to prevent things exactly like this?

Example: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was getting his groove on one night last week in San Antonio. Drinking. Dacing. The works. Suddenly some patrons at Coyote Ugly on the Riverwalk decide it would be cool if Jerry - I swear - laid on the bar for a whipped-cream body shot from the joint's hired dancin' girls. As Jerry pondered, at least five cell phones were whipped out of their holsters.

Why those pictures aren't on the Internet is because Jerry didn't get on the bar. His 24/7 bodyguard - Roosevelt Riley - made sure of it. Narron should've been around to save Josh as well.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt