The worry was to blame.
Depression was the cause.
Marijuana use was the reason.
It was the illustrious agreement.
Yet, what it came down to was bad timing.
Jon Singleton, a first baseman in the minor leagues for the Milwaukee Brewers, could have been a star in this game but arrived almost ten years too early.
With the Philadelphia Phillies, Singleton made his professional baseball debut in 2009. Three years later, with the Houston Astros, he was accused of being a drug addict and a player who couldn’t stop taking marijuana. As a result, Major League Baseball suspended him three times.
Together with Washington, D.C., 21 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
MLB has a collaboration with a CBD startup and eliminated marijuana from its list of prohibited substances in 2019.
But, he played under a separate set of rules. Singleton took a three-year hiatus from baseball due to marijuana use, spent a year playing baseball in Mexico, and then, after a five-year absence, rejoined a baseball organization that was linked with him.
He is currently a minor leaguer, age 31, who is attempting to return to the majors for the first time since 2015.
“My career would have taken a very different path,” “It would be a full 180, to be honest,” Singleton tells the associated press. Yet that was a different era. Humans used to think in a different ways. It’s odd because everyone was so upfront about drinking, yet everyone had very different ideas about cannabis.”
Singleton, who grew up in Long Beach, California, and claims he began smoking marijuana at the age of 14, tested positive for marijuana in June 2012 while in the Houston Astros minor league system. Six months later, he tested positive and spent a month in a drug recovery program.
“Honestly, that was so typical to me because I’m from California,” Singleton adds. “I didn’t realize things were different elsewhere until I moved there. It wasn’t until baseball and federal laws changed that it became, if not accepted, then more normal.
“People are now fine with it, whereas earlier they wanted to avoid it since it was illegal. A significant alteration has occurred.
Realizing Singleton’s marijuana use, the Astros were able to get around baseball’s rule by adding Singleton to the 40-man roster. Major-league players were exempt from the ban on smoking, but minor-league players were. Singleton, who was ranked 27th by Baseball America, was regarded as one of the top young prospects in the game. In just 54 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City, he hit 14 home runs, drove in 43 runs, and had a slash line of.267/.398/.544.
The Astros were so certain he’d be a star that they signed him to a five-year, $10 million contract, the first long-term contract extension granted to a player before playing a single day in the majors.
Even while the agreement did feature options that could increase the deal’s value to $30 million over eight years, agents and his contemporaries Mark Mulder and Bud Norris criticized the pact, believing it cost him millions of dollars in future profits.
Singleton first made it to the major leagues in 2014, appearing in just 19 games with the Astros the next year while hitting.168 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI, and never again. The Astros lost up on him after he was given a 100-game suspension for marijuana use in 2018 and he spent the whole 2016 and 2017 seasons in the minor levels.
I suffered from a lot of worry and sadness, Singleton admits, and a lot of it was caused by the contract I signed. What others were saying about me started to worry me. I had so high expectations for myself that, at that young age, I had no idea how to handle my anxiety or my sadness.
Sincerely, using marijuana taught me a lot about myself.
Although he couldn’t take the pressure, Singleton claims he made the correct choice in signing the contract, and perhaps things might have turned out differently if he hadn’t.
Singleton says, “I don’t know why so many people believed I was doing a mistake signing the deal. “Before I took the field in a single Major League game, it was a financial figure that was guaranteed. No matter what happened, it was always a win-win situation. It’s money that will change your life and the lives of your family members.
“I’m confident that many outside of baseball would agree that he made a wise choice. It’s just baseball. It’s not all of it.
“That was unquestionably fantastic for me. It improved my life in many ways.
Singleton, who is married and has two young children, would tell you that when he was selected by the Phillies in the eighth round of the 2009 draft and traded to the Astros in 2011, he was careless, immature, irresponsible, and even reckless.
He was surrounded by friends and athletes who occasionally smoked marijuana, much like him. It changed from being recreational or even therapeutic to becoming an addiction.
“Now as I reflect, I did struggle with addiction,” Because I was doing it every day, Singleton explains. I lacked the abilities and mindset to alter my behavior. But coming to rehab and learning about the human body has undoubtedly benefited me—not just with my drug misuse, but with life in general.
Singleton signed a minor league contract with the Brewers in 2022 after playing in Mexico in 2021. In 2022, he had such a successful season at Triple-A Nashville that he almost received a promotion to the majors in September. He had a.219 average with 24 home runs, 87 RBI, and 117 walks for a.375 on-base percentage.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell adds, “What he did last year was incredibly outstanding. He had a great season, especially considering he hadn’t played affiliated baseball throughout those years. He started to hear his name mentioned in discussions about getting called up at the end of the year, and we eventually thought highly enough of him to add him to the 40-man roster [this winter].
In the first two weeks of spring training games, Singleton, who is hitting.500 with a.583 on-base percentage, is re-establishing himself in the conversation. Although the Brewers already have several seasoned first basemen in the form of incumbent Rowdy Tellez, Keston Hiura, Josh VanMeter, and Luke Voit, he is confident that he will eventually kick in the door if he continues to knock.
“You should always recognize the tenacity the player has shown throughout his path,” counsels Counsell. “Each player has a different route to take, but sometimes the game isn’t particularly friendly to you and doesn’t treat you back as nicely as you feel like you’ve treated it. Yet you must continue. You have to frequently accept “No” as an answer. A lot of the time, disappointment will be staring you in the face.
But you have to keep moving forward, and Jon has decided to do so. Kudos to him for making that choice.
Singleton is unsure of the precise number of Brewers players who are aware of his travels. He doesn’t flaunt his history when out and about. He is available if someone needs to talk. He is available if someone else is experiencing the same mental difficulties.
He has persevered through so many challenges in his work and life that nothing is going to deter him from moving forward now.
Honestly, Singleton explains, “this is just a part of my existence. ‘I am this,’ you say.
“Valuable things aren’t always simple to come by.
And things that are simple are not worthwhile.