“Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton plays baseball the way Whitney (Houston) sang” gushed Fox Sports Jen Floyd Engel. And in case you’re not sure where this is all going, Engle reminds us, “they both battled drug addiction. Very publicly. And at times, very painfully.” NOTE FOR PERSONS WHO MIGHT BUY INTO THIS BULLSHIT : Josh Hamilton isn’t dead yet.

When news broke Saturday that Houston was found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and later reports said that prescription drugs may have been a culprit, I was saddened yet not surprised.

This is what sometimes happens to drug addicts. They use again, and they die as a result. This is what got me thinking of Hamilton and just how scary his very public fall from sobriety a couple of weeks ago had been.

As he noted, for a guy like him, there is no tiny slip. It is all a slippery slope, and the worst is always a possibility once he gets on the downward swing.

Hamilton’s struggles — of the life/career-threatening and the whipped-cream variety — have been covered countless times, but it is the height of hysteria to suggest a sudsy relapse (or what little we know of it) automatically dooms him to Houston’s fate. Yes, it is “a slippery slope”, one that’s been successful negotiated by persons famous and otherwise. You don’t need to be a Whitney Houston fan to blanch at her death being exploited in such sloppy, mawkish fashion. IF JOSH HAMILTON ISN’T CAREFUL HE COULD END UP DEAD DEAD DEAD LIKE WHITNEY.

Or he could end up like John Lucas. Or Robert Downey Jr.