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August 09, 2009

Hamilton transcript

Some comments on stories that have appeared on this Web site suggest that Josh Hamilton wasn't totally honest about his January night. If he had, he and the Rangers would have had a news conference that pre-empted the Web site that published photos of Hamilton's relapse in an Arizona bar.

The Rangers were asked about it that, but they didn't know if photos existed or who saw what. Hamilton didn't remember all the details but had handled it as best he could by contacting all the people he feels he is reponsible to.

And, since there were only about 30 people who actually saw Hamilton stand before the media and his teammates Saturday morning to admit to an embarrassing lapse in his sobriety, take this from one of them: Should such a situation befall any other public figure or a regular Joe like the rest of us, they can only hope to duplicate the resolve Hamilton showed and be as honest and upfront about an embarrassing situation as he was.

Here's all that he said over 21 minutes with the media before the game Saturday:


I haven’t seen the site. Obviously, I’ve heard about it. Obviously, I’m embarrassed about it, personally. For the Rangers, I’m embarrassed about it. For my wife, my kids. Obviously, it’s one of those things that reinforce that I can’t have alcohol. Unfortunately, it happened. It just reinforces to me that if I’m out there getting ready for the season in January and take my focus off the most important thing in my recover, which is a relationship with Christ, for about a month, it’s a amazing how those things creep up.

I hate this happened. But, it is what it is, you deal with it, and I realize that, obviously, I’m not perfect and that it’s an 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, like the Rangers, MLB even, and told them what had happened. I was absolutely open and honest about it.

What happened? I went to get something to eat. Obviously, I eat in restaurants that have bars 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?’ And, obviously, I can’t. That was very well reinforced, and I can honestly say since that night I haven not even had a thought of trying another one. It was a huge lesson for me about keeping it real about what’s first. What’s the true reason that I went as long as I did without thinking I could, and that was, obviously, the Lord’s grace and taking that obsession, that compulsion, away from me to not want to do it. To get away from it, the one thing that works, was obviously a mistake on my part.

When? It was January. Probably about two or the week [after he got to API].

Alcohol banned by MLB in his case? I know it’s something I shouldn’t do. It’s not illegal for me to have. It’s just not recommended for me to have, and obviously for good reason.


Did it lead to other things? I’m sure it always tries to lead that way. I’m not trying to be cute with you, but as far as I know, I don’t believe so. Obviously, I would have heard from the Rangers if there had been something that was other than alcohol. I haven’t been informed of that. I haven’t been told of that. I’ve still been tested like I’ve always been tested.


Remember much? I believe I got to the point where vaguely in and out, bits and pieces. It’s kind of disheartening when your wife calls you and is pretty upset by it. Being embarrassed about it, having to realize and remember what you did, and being described to you what I did by your wife, is very hard to describe.

It wasn't just one drink? It was more than that. If I had one, I think I can have two, and then two snowballs into 10 or 12. This guy I knew that is still in the program, he always used to joke, ‘I’m allergic to alcohol. Every time I drink it, I break out in orange jumpsuits and handcuffs. Some people, it just doesn’t mix with, and I’m one of those people.

Just one night? It was a one-night thing. I called my support system and just told them what had happened and asked for forgiveness about it. The first thing I did, I asked the Lord for forgiveness about it. It goes back to if I don’t keep him close, things are going to snow ball. Satin can get in there say, ‘Why not one?’ And, obviously, one leads to a lot more than that.

What's next? Just stay how I’ve been since that moment, really connected to my support system. They’re there for a reason. It’s worked for a long time for a reason, and just remember why I am where I am so I can be a positive influence on people. Hopefully, this can be used for God’s glory and realize that, you know what, I am human. I still have struggles. It doesn’t say anything about having a relationship with Christ. It just let’s me know I need one more than ever.


Recovery was big story at Home Run Derby What's the effect of the relapse? It was this year, too, and it continues to be. When I get asked on the bench during the Home Run Derby from Erin Andrews, `What was the most memorable thing from last year’s Home Run Derby and All-Star Game?’ I say, ‘Sharing Christ with people.’ I don’t feel like I’m a hypocrite. I feel like I’m human, and, honestly, it is what it is. I got away from the one thing that keeps me straightened out and moving in the right direction, and that was that relationship with the Lord. It can be a positive thing and let people know that should come first over anything.


Johnny Narron was in


It’s one of those things where, a little bit, when you start getting time under your belt, you start taking it for granted. You might feel like you can have some freedom every once in awhile. Obviously, I don’t have enough time under my belt. It’s not Johnny’s fault. We have a good relationship and we trust each other. Obviously, I breeched that trust. I’ve asked for his forgiveness. We’ve done things to improve that and be on the same page even more.

Things happen. To be honest with you, I should have seen signs leading up to making a bad decision like this, just because I got away from the things that kept me mentally equipped and spiritually equipped. A lot of it is just me, maybe thinking about getting really, really in shape for the season and losing my focus on what I had to do.

It kind of humbles me to continue to every day have people come up to me and say what an influence I’ve been as far as staying clean and sober. That continues to be a big deal with me. Any time I can hear that, it helps reinforce that I’m doing a good deed as far as continuing to be honest about what’s going on. This can be something that works for good and help people realize that if you are trying to recover, if you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. You can get back on track right where you were. A lot of the percentage of the people who are in an addiction are going to make a mistakes. It’s just a point of realizing that it is a mistake and not getting down or depressed or dwelling on it. It is very real, and, I’m praying that this experience can help a lot of folks.

It’s significant that as soon as it happened, I took action for it and took responsibility for it and talked to the folks I needed to talk to. That’s how you jump on top of it.


I thought, to be honest with you, it already would have been out. I always knew there was a chance of it. I talked to Katie about it, about what happened that night, what I could remember, and try to prepare her for what might come out. We talked early today. Obviously, she’s very disappointed, and I’m very embarrassed for her and the organization and for my children. You can ‘t completely prepare for it. We’ve been praying about it ever since, that this whole situation could come forward.


Affect on the field? It hasn’t affected me. I had a good spring and just went right into the season. Since this is happened, since I’ve moved forward after it happened, I haven’t given much thought to it except for this day would come and being prepared for it. It is amazing that when I start to swing the bat a little bit, it does come out.


Toughest to talk to? Obviously, Katie. It hurts me a lot, too, when I do something that in the eyes of my Lord is wrong. Obviously, I did something very long. That hurts me very deeply, too, but the biggest one is Katie. The question gets asked, ‘What if I saw something like that with her?’ Obviously, it stirs up a lot of thoughts. It’s tough. Katie and I have a strong relationship. Same thing with the drugs, she told me she forgave for what I did, and she meant it. Since this has happened I told her what I did and what I knew about it. She told me she forgives me, and she meant it.


What were you drinking? The details don’t really matter, what kind of drink it was. It just put me in a bad situation. Anything that alters my mood is a drug. That includes the nicotine I chew every day, if you want to get technical about it.


I never go three days without being tested. (Usually Monday, Wednesday, Friday all year long). By studies, cocaine stays in your system three days, so we do it that way.


Distracting going forward? As soon as I walk away from you guys, I’ll put it behind me. I can only do that because of the Lord. He’s standing right here with me helping me talk to you guys about it and be OK with it.


Apology to teammates? More than likely so. I don’t know necessarily when it’ll be. I won’t let it linger too long. What I do personally off the field affects my teammates. When I did what I did, obviously the first thing I did was apologize to them [the Rangers] because they trusted me and had faith in my. They accepted my apology because they know who I am and know what I want to accomplish. They reinforced that they want me to be a part of what we’re doing here.


-- Jeff Wilson 


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I have known Josh since 1996 when my son and him were on the same AAU team in Charlotte. Josh was a fine young man then and he's an older FINE man now! Anyone reading this has made mistakes, but yours aren't put out for the world to see. We all fall short (we sin), but GOD knows your heart as well as mine and he will forgive us if we are Christians. I have not talked with Josh or his family since 1996, but I seen his testomony on TV and it was real, please forgive him and let's get behind the Rangers and win the World Series.
Al Hall
Lake Toxaway, NC

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