Josh Hamilton admitted that he suffered a lapse from his sobriety in January and that the photos posted on deadspin.com are indeed him in an Arizona bar drinking and carrying on with women who aren't his wife. He had gone to Arizona before spring training to prepare for the season at Athletes' Performance Institute in Tempe, Ariz.
No disciplinary action will be taken by the Rangers, who were told about the incident by Hamilton the day after it happened. Hamilton is in the lineup today. He has not failed a drug test, so while he doesn't remember all the details from that night, it's apparent that he didn't take any banned substances that would lead to a suspension from MLB in violation of the policy that allowed him to return to baseball.
"I'm embarrassed about it. For the Rangers, I'm embarrassed about it. For my wife, my kids," Hamilton said. "It's one of those things that just reinforces (thoughts) about alcohol. Unfortunately, it happened. It just reinforces to me that if I'm out there getting ready for a season and taking my focus off the most important thing in my recovery, which is my relationship with Christ, it's amazing how those things creep back in.
"Honestly, I hate that this happened. But it is what it is. You deal with it. I realized that, obviously, I'm not perfect, in this on-going struggle, battle, that is very real. A lot of people don't understand how real it is.
"As soon as it happened, I called my support system -- my wife, the Rangers, MLB and told them what had happened. I was absolutely open and honest about it.
"I went to get something to eat. Obviously, I eat at restaurants that have bars in them all the time. I wasn't mentally fit to go in there, spiritually fit, and it just crossed my mind, 'Can I have a drink?' Obviously, I can't."
Hamilton said he was surprised that it took so long for word to spread that he had been spotted drunk in public. General manager Jon Daniels said a cloud hung over those who were contacted by Hamilton for about a week.
Hamilton also said that he doesn't feel like a hypocrite for preaching about sobriety and the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
"I don't feel like I'm a hypocrite. I feel like I'm human," he said. "I got away from the one thing that keeps me straightened out and going in the right direction."
-- Jeff Wilson