Excellent post, Dan. Very articulate.
I don't exactly follow the only sentence of your post. Are you saying that baseball was struggling and it needed a guy that could bring fans back to the game? If so, you're an idiot, because that already happened when fans felt violated after the 1994 strike until Sosa and McGwire started hitting bombs back and forth in 1998. But I'm pretty sure you weren't saying that.
What I think you were saying is that baseball, despite its overwhelming recent success, is in need of a cleaner image in the aftermath of the steroid era. I can't think of a better person to usher in this new era of cleanliness than drug, alcohol, and tattoo-addicted Josh Hamilton! But seriously, I was rooting for Hamilton during the HR Derby, and I've been rooting for him all year since I drafted him onto my fantasy team(yeah, I'm a badass). I really do wish the best for Hamilton in the future; the guy has been through every circle of Hell and has fought his way back, which is incredible.
That being said, there's one thing that everyone seems to be overlooking: Hamilton might not be steroid-free. The guy was kicked out of baseball for 3 years, and the only swings he took in that time were at coin-operated batting cages when he was in between fixes. Now he's hitting the poop shoot out of major league pitching and blasting 500+ foot home runs at Yankee Stadium. I really, really hope that Hamilton is clean. I think he is. But there's some doubt there, that's all I'm saying. He needs to get tested and show all of us that his incredible first round at the Derby was simply his God-given talent. That's what baseball needs, and I think that's what you were saying in that single sentence that you wrote, correct?
And what you unintentionally said in your post is that baseball needed a home run derby with 8 white Americans and zero African-Americans, Hispanics, or Asians. Way to reveal yourself as a hardcore racist, Dan. Write more than one effing sentence next time.