But it's just not that simple.
There are many that read this site who are Mets' fans because of the Mookie book I co-authored. They will recall the frustration involved with pulling for another superstar from a bygone era--Dwight Gooden. Like Hamilton, whose left-handed power is the closest thing we've seen to Mickey Mantle's (Bonds was on PEDs so he doesn't count), Gooden struggled with addiction throughout his career and well into retirement. Fans blame him (and Darryl Strawberry) for ruining the Mets' chances at a dynasty (they only won it all in '86).
But here's the thing. Both Hamilton and Gooden are exceptional human beings. Sadly, while some can experiment with drugs, walk away from them (see Keith Hernandez), and resume their careers relatively unscathed, there are those that are hooked for life after that first snort, injection, drink or tote.
Today the focus is on Josh Hamilton. I highly recommend picking up his best-selling autobiography Beyond Belief: Finding The Strength To Come Back. Josh came from the best home life imaginable. The support he received well into his minor league career from his parents was beyond anything I ever heard of--his father even quit his job to stay close to Josh and give him the wisdom and guidance he needed. But soon after his parents left him to live his own life, Hamilton's innocence ended. He went out one night with some new "friends" and experimented with cocaine after having one too many beers because it was there for the taking. He was hooked. The coke led to a list of other drugs. He became an addict. He easily could be dead by now.
It was the same way with Gooden. During a visit to a friend's apartment following the '85 season, he tried coke to see what all the fuss was about. This, after also having close ties with his parents, ended badly. A career on the fast track to the Hall of Fame was cut short.
Like with Gooden, fans should pull for Hamilton to come through this latest episode in his life. As both superstars have proven, drug addiction can happen to anyone after one very bad mistake. It can happen to really good people. I, for one, am pulling for Josh to get passed this latest challenge in his life.