While the Texas Rangers celebrated with beer and champagne showers after clinching the American League West Saturday night, they did so without left fielder Josh Hamilton. Although Hamilton, who has been out of action since September 4th with two fractured ribs, was in the stadium and in uniform during the Rangers clincher over the Oakland Athletics, he quickly disappeared to the training room to change after joining in the onfield celebration with his teammates.

Hamilton’s much noted struggles with drugs and alcohol could have been a cause for concern in a beer-soaked, postgame free-for-all, but he wisely removed himself from the situation. Some might say that this is being over cautious, but no goggles or rain jacket would protect him from the free-fall that could have occurred if even the smallest amount of alcohol were ingested.

Alcoholics can go through a traumatic event like a death in the family and cope without drinking only to go on a three-day binge after breaking a shoelace. Hamilton is putting up MVP type numbers this season with a .361 batting average, 31 home runs and 97 RBI in 130 games. He is having the best season of his career and should be back in the lineup for the final week end of the season to get some at-bats before the playoffs.

Hamilton showed a great sense of responsibility by taking the more cautious rout and removing himself from the situation. He also showed respect to the Texas Rangers organization that stood behind him after his January 2009 relapse at a Arizona tavern.

When someone accepts that they have a problem with alcohol and takes the steps to correct the problem, there are added responsibilities. Josh Hamilton stepped up to the plate on Saturday night, albeit without a bat, and did the right thing.

By telling the world the he is drug and alcohol free, Hamilton takes on a certain responsibility that has to be lived up to. By avoiding the celebration on Saturday night Josh Hamilton showed that he is in it for the long haul this season and into the playoffs.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com