All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I can resist everything except temptation...

Deadspin posted a bunch of photos of Josh Hamilton carrying on with the waitresses in a bar in Arizona. The bartender was apparently a casual fan of baseball; when Hamilton said he was a ball player, the bartender recognized him as the home run derby slugger. However, he wasn't aware of Hamilton's history, and offered him a drink. Hamilton accepted, and well, it all went downhill from there. Hamilton ended by asking the bartender where he could score some blow, then left for a strip club. Hamilton admits the incident happened, and says he doesn't remember much of what happened that night. He says he told his support system the next morning, and took and passed a drug test two days later. Still, it's kind of embarrassing, after he wrote that book and all.

Perhaps the weirdest thing is that Hamilton's babysitter, Johnny Narron, said he would be shocked if the photos were real. This was before Hamilton publicly admitted that they were, of course. If Hamilton told his support system, surely Narron knew? Was he lying to protect Josh, or what?

Jonah Keri of SI revisited the Hamilton-Volquez trade last week. Both Hamilton and Volquez have been disappointing this season. Hamilton has struggled with injury and has not hit well. Volquez is out for at least a year after having Tommy John surgery. All in all, though, I think the Reds came out ahead. Tommy John surgery is pretty routine these days; Volquez will be back. Hamilton, I fear, is a much bigger risk. Plus, the Reds got Danny Ray Herrera as well, and he's been very productive out of the pen for them this year.

Anyways, this incident reminded of this interesting article:

Temptation Harder to Resist Than You Think, Study Suggests

It's about a series of studies that tested how well people resist temptation, and had some fascinating results. People who are confident that they can resist temptation are the ones who are worst at it. This is because they put themselves into situations where they will be tempted, while those who are less confident know better.

The new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, builds on past research showing that when not in the "heat of the moment," individuals have a hard time understanding the depths of their cravings.

"If you aren't feeling a cigarette craving or hunger or sexual arousal at this moment, I believe you have a real difficult time appreciating the transformative force of those experiences," Nordgren said.

Interesting that Deadspin titled their article, "The Devil Is Still In Josh Hamilton." In a sense, that's really what it's like: it's almost like another personality emerges under temptation - one so different that the ordinary self can't even understand it.

The study has implications for all corners of our personal lives, Nordgren figures. For instance, can a recovering alcoholic attend booze-saturated parties and stay sober? Can a dieter frequent his favorite dessert buffets and refrain from binging? Can a committed husband have drinks with a past fling without fear of infidelity?

"The answer is probably 'no,'" Nordgren said. "People have less self-restraint than they think, a false belief that often leads people to expose themselves to more temptation than they can handle."

In addition, he added, the study results suggest people often can’t predict how they will react in a given situation.

"It's not just about eating and addiction, but the 'cold self' has a really hard time understanding what you're capable of in a moment of despair, in a moment of rage," Nordgren said.

I guess this might explain why addicts who have been sober for years, even decades, sometimes fall off the wagon and end up dying of overdoses. It's when you think you have it licked that you're most vulnerable.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:51 PM


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