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Muscle Sport Magazine

Who’s the Bigger Villain: Josh Hamilton Or A-Rod?

Two Major League Baseball stars using banned substances – one that is a performance-enhancer and the other a performance (as well as health and, at times, life) destroyer. The PED user has been raked over the coals and treated as if he was the newest member of ISIS, while the cocaine and alcohol abuser has been coddled as if he is an innocent victim that deserves all of our compassion during this trying time.

Alex Rodriguez  – who has never actually failed a drug test, but between his own admission and the BioGenesis case, we’ll assume that he did use PEDs – has paid the price for his transgressions and will in all likelihood never be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

People say that A-Rod cheated the game and lied to the fans, but hasn’t Josh Hamilton done the same thing?

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The Los Angeles Angels are paying Hamilton $25 million a year to be a major run producer in their line-up and put asses in the seats. He has let down so many people with the news that he has once again used coke and booze, starting with his employer, teammates, fans, his family and himself.

Hamilton had vowed to remain clean and sober and that he was genuinely sorry for his checkered past. His recovery was a great human interest story but even when he made the comeback, he was being given the royal treatment. This is a man who was at rock bottom for a reason and stole from his own grandmother to support his crack cocaine habit, who took him in after Hamilton’s wife threw him out of the house.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, has never been accused of smoking crack, stealing from Grandma, or relapsing not once or twice, but now three times since 2009. What was his crime? Using steroids so that his skills would not deteriorate and he would still be able to be productive enough to help his team win and – probably more importantly for him – justify his then-highest contract in MLB history.

Baseball has this ‘holier than thou’ attitude because it is our national pastime and any player who tries to better themselves by eating healthy, working out with weights and using the proper (and legal) supplementation are immediately accused of juicing up. And the ones who are caught red handed using PEDs are written off forever as Public Enemy Number One.

But Steve Howe was suspended SEVEN times for cocaine and his name is still brought up as some poor guy that just couldn’t shake “his demons.”

First of all, the so-called “recreational” drug users were not addicts when they began partying and for quite a while after that. They did it because it was fun to them. They were destroying their bodies and careers, but not their reputations.

Does that make any sense to anyone?

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Besides that, crimes were being committed by merely possessing narcotics such as cocaine and heroin. Testosterone and HGH are prescribed daily by doctors everywhere for anti-aging and health risks associated with having low levels naturally.

The avalanche of positive reporting concerning Hamilton began as soon as the story broke. Former player Aaron Boone said on ESPN’s SportsCenter live from Angels camp, “On a personal level, you kind of feel for the individual. I think we have all been touched on some level with addiction…family, friends, people you know.”

Thankfully, at least one sports scribe had the balls to tell it like it is and that is Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post. Read his article here

People will say that professional athletes are role models to youths and using PEDs sends a bad message. But you rarely hear that when cocaine or marijuana is the case. Even the penalties handed down reflect that; Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season and did not even fail a drug test. Word is that Hamilton will definitely not face anything even close to that and it will in all likelihood be around 25 games – and that the Player’s Association would appeal anything “too harsh.”

Why is Hamilton and the other coke heads before him shown sympathy for their wrongs and A-Rod and the juice monkey crowd are shunned and given what amounts to a ‘lifetime ban’ on moving on with their career without the specter of suspicion?

Photo by Joe Perricone

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