The AL West-leading Texas Rangers are denied the services of the reigning league MVP for as much as two months following Josh Hamilton’s ill-advised, headfirst slide into home plate yesterday in Detroit, an incident that caused at least one observer to wonder if the 12-stepping right-fielder is as boneheaded as he’s unfortunate (“when you’re 6-foot-4 and weigh 240 pounds, you shouldn’t try to play like someone half a foot shorter and 50 pounds lighter”). Most of those critical of Hamilton’s judgement, however, have refrained from suggesting this split-second decision was in any way analogous to say, SHOOTING HEROIN. Cue up then, ladies and gentlemen, “Baseball Tonight” analyst Bobby Valentine, whose previous attempts to assess the alcohol intake of Todd Hundley or the mental health of Pete Harnisch, proved less than constructive (the quoted passage below is culled from Yahoo Sports’ Big League Stew)

Karl Ravech: What was stupid about the play?

Bobby Valentine: Well, it was the first inning and it was taking a chance with your best player and he did dive headfirst and it was a way of avoiding the slide and he knew that he shouldn’t go and he did go, you know? And you know, there’s indiscretion in this guy’s life, he was stupid earlier and because of that, he can’t take drugs now to help cure this injury and heal this injury. And that might have been dumb on everyone’s part because, my gosh, it’s the first inning, he’s the MVP. They’re scoring runs better than anybody in the league, you have to tag up on a fly ball in front of the dugout?

Keep in mind, this is not the first time an ESPN employee has offered a less than enlightened take on Hamilton’s substance abuse issues.