Big League Stew - MLB

Two weeks ago, Josh Hamilton(notes) said he had a plan for participating in a clinching champagne party as a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.

The Texas Rangers star said it involved "goggles on, duct tape over the mouth and either a wetsuit or raincoat."

But when corks finally started to pop in Oakland on Saturday night in celebration of the team's first playoff appearance since 1999, Hamilton called an audible and steered clear of the scene entirely.

After hugging and shaking hands with his teammates on the field, he changed in a trainer's room and stayed away from the wet scene in the Rangers clubhouse.

Not only did he want to avoid any temptation to slip up on his never-ending fight against addiction — which he has admittedly done in the past — Hamilton said he didn't want to give his fans the wrong impression. 

From ESPN Dallas:

A gaggle of teammates grabbed water bottles and tried to drench Hamilton, but the slugger was already dressed and getting ready to speak to a large gathering of fans about his faith. It was church day at Oakland and Hamilton kept his commitment to speak to the group along with many A's players.

Should the Rangers break from usual baseball tradition and put the kibosh on any alcohol for any future celebrations, if necessary? Like the situation with the Angels and Nick Adenhart's jersey last season, I believe there's room for a discussion to be had and it certainly seems strange to engage in anything that excludes one of the players most responsible for the team being in that position.

[Photos: Rangers star Josh Hamilton in action]

At the same time, Hamilton was able to celebrate with his teammates on the field and he didn't seem to mind letting his teammates have their fun once the scene shifted to the clubhouse. He appeared to be simply content with sharing his faith, working toward getting healthy for the playoffs (he's aiming to return from his injured ribs next weekend) and keeping his focus on a fight against addiction that he'll always have to wage. 

Because I'm the kind of person that believes in the more, the merrier, I'd be willing to forgo the Korbel or whatever brand in favor of a non-alcoholic option so Hamilton could participate. I do realize, though, that there would be a lot of people who would want to disagree with me. Maybe even Hamilton himself.  

What do you think? 

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