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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Entering Josh Hamilton Over-saturation

Let me make this perfectly clear from the start: I am a Josh Hamilton fan and I’m a fan of what he’s accomplished. I’ve followed him from the day he was drafted all the way to his first year out of baseball. I read about him when he first told his story of destruction before he even made it back with the Reds. I think it’s one of the biggest individual turnarounds in sports to go from his low of being a complete drug addict loser to one of the top few hitters in the world and an MVP candidate. I don’t even know why I need to bother giving you all these details — you’ve already heard his story fifty bajilion times by now. And that’s my issue.

At some point you reach over-saturation with a story, and I’ve completely hit that point. I actually am starting to feel bad that Hamilton won’t ever be just an All-Star because his reputation consistently precedes him. His story will forever skew honors and awards as well as the public’s perception of him because they’re always going to want him to do better and receive more than most other players. I also understand why some of the players on the Reds may have grown to resent the guy last year because of all the attention he got. Much of it was created by Hamilton because of the incredible life he’s lived, but a lot of it now is the media taking the story and running with it Forrest Gump-style.

Now you might be thinking at this point: Hey, the guy belted 28 home runs in the derby and was a freaking star, of course we’re going to be talking about him. Very true. But I actually developed this feeling even before the derby began, just hearing the hoards of talking heads on ESPN gush over the guy. Steve Phillips: I’m picking Hamilton to win the derby because he’s such a great story! Ditto pretty much everyone else. At some point Hamilton’s story does not need to be told any longer because everyone will know about it. I know it’s the All-Star Game and the HR Derby and that maybe lends itself to a broader audience, but still, I’ve already hit that point. I feel bad for the guy now because he’s getting so much attention, he’s probably sick of himself. Like the great Frank Cushman said, maybe there’s too much Cush-Lash, Cush-Lash, Cush-Lash, Cush-Lash, Cush-Lash.



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