The Los Angeles Angels are into Josh Hamilton for five years and $125 million and, although team owner Arte Moreno said there was "no special language" in the outfielder's contract citing consequences for a potential drug or alcohol relapse, the team will take extra steps to keep the admitted addict on the straight and narrow.
One of the first moves is hiring Hamilton's accountability partner, Shayne Kelley, away from the Texas Rangers. The new hire will technically serve as a major league staff assistant for the Angels, but Kelley's primary function will be to act as conscience for the 31-year-old Hamilton at home and on the road and keep him from making bad decisions that could wreck his career.
Besides regular check-ins and being tested three times a week for substances that could derail his professional career, Hamilton will be under the watchful eye of Kelley.
Hamilton has had two known relapses during his stint with the Rangers — the latest happened in February 2012.
The powerful slugger knows he is only as strong as his faith. Hamilton has already put his trust in the hands of God, the Angels team and the woman who has seen his ups and downs over the past ten years — his wife, Katie.
The Angels are obviously hoping to get five seasons of solid production from their million dollar signee but, more importantly, want to see Hamilton — who said he had "literally tried every drug on the street" — keep putting another day between him and whatever demons he left behind.
Sometimes the most important aspects of a contract aren't put in writing.