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Rangers’ Hamilton details alcohol relapse

Sat., Feb. 4, 2012


ARLINGTON, Texas. – Texas Rangers outfielder and recovering drug addict Josh Hamilton said Friday that he had a relapse that started with “three or four” drinks at a Dallas-area bar this week, apologizing for a “weak moment” and insisting he will try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The 30-year-old Hamilton said his actions “are mine that hurt a lot of people very close to me.”

Hamilton was suspended for more than three years for drug and alcohol use while in the Tampa Bay organization. The former No. 1 overall draft pick missed the entire 2004 and 2005 seasons, but has become one of the best players in baseball on a team that has won the last two American League pennants. He was the American League MVP in 2010.

But Hamilton this week had his second known alcohol-related relapse in three years. Both came during the offseason.

In January 2009, he drank to excess in a bar in Tempe, Ariz. Before that, Hamilton said he had been sober since Oct. 6, 2005.

Without being specific, Hamilton said his weak moment Monday night came for “personal reasons” with a family member. He said he walked to a restaurant to have dinner and ended up ordering “three or four drinks.”

Hamilton said he has not taken any drugs, and had no thoughts of doing so.

Hamilton spoke for about 12 minutes without using any prepared notes or taking any questions. Though there were no tears, he struggled with his emotions at times.

After having a few drinks with dinner, Hamilton called Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler to come hang out with him.

Hamilton said Kinsler didn’t know he had been drinking, and that he never had a drink in front of his teammate.

Then Kinsler drove him back to where he was staying not far away. Hamilton said he later returned to the place they had left and had more drinks.

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