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February 03, 2012

Josh Hamilton's full statement on relapse

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton made a statement about his latest relapse in his fight against alcohol and drug abuse.

Here's a transcript of his comments:

"My life in general is based on making the right choices, everything as far as my recovery, as far as my baseball goes, it’s all based around my relationship with the Lord. I look at it like this, you know how hard I play on the field and I give it everything I absolutely I have. When I don’t do that off the field, I leave myself open for a weak moment and I had a weak moment Monday night in Dallas, personal reasons with a family member.

"But I walked to a restaurant to have some dinner, and did just that, had dinner and ended up ordering a drink and probably had three or four drinks. I ended up calling Ian [Kinsler] just to come hang out with me. Ian did not know I had been drinking. Once I do drink, I can be very deceptive, very sneaky in a lot of ways, so while he was there I did not drink in front of him.

"[After the restaurant closed], we go across the street to another place that stayed open. We're talking baseball, talking life, how are families were, all these things, stay 25-30 minutes. He [Kinsler] has to go home, and drives me back where I need to be, quarter-mile away. His words were, 'I’ll see you later. You're not going to go back out, are you?' I said, 'No, I am in. I am good.' I did exactly what I told him I wouldn’t do. I went back to the place we had just left and had some more drinks. Nobody saw me actually with a beer in my hand or drink in my hand. I can find ways where people can’t see that. That doesn’t excuse the fact I was doing something knowing it does not work for me.

"No drugs were used at all. Never thought about it. I've had two drug tests since Monday, so I have no concerns there at all. Anytime I drink, there is a point that comes where the switch flips. You never know when it might be reached, the first three or four, or the 15th, and that’s what's so dangerous about it.

"Things happen to me personally that I’m not proud of after I drink, they are personal and being handled as that. ... I did take pictures with people, and it was just wrong. That’s all it comes down to. I needed to be in a different place, I needed to be responsible that day, period. And I was not responsible. Those actions of mine hurt a lot of people who are very close to me.

"As far as baseball and the Rangers, they’ve shown nothing but support to me and told me they’re continuing to support me. I can not take a break from my recovery. My recovery is Christ, it’s an everyday process. Because when I take that one day off, it leaves me open for a moment a weakness, it's always been that way.

"For everybody I have hurt – fans, kids, people who have addictions who look up to me - I apologize to you. When you’re doing this you don’t mean to hurt anybody. As I know, it hurts a lot of people. I have a lot to look at as far as things going on, inside, not bad things, and not things that are worrisome as far as me running back out going to drink. It's about getting to the point where I understand, like I told you I understand, I can’t take a break. Again, how hard I play on the field is how hard I need to take my relationship with the Lord. That is my recovery, and everybody understands that. I just ask everybody who is watching and listening to pray for me, pray for my family because as we go through this difficult time, it never gets easy.

"I've put my wife through a lot in our marriage, and she’s a very strong woman. But it's about time I become the strong one in the relationship, take responsibility, take the lead, stepping up and being the man I am supposed to be and not continuing to hurt her. And putting my kids in situation where they might hear things, it’s just not a good thing. I am going to do a lot of soul searching. I have a great support team.

"Before I make that bad decision to take a drink, I just need to talk to somebody. It's OK to be vulnerable, it's OK to show weakness, everybody has it. People are here for that reason, and they love me, and they've done nothing but support me. It's a blessing for me to have them in my life.

"I will be flying to New York at some point soon to meet with doctors, Major League side and players [union] side. I'll talk with them about what happened, and continue doing my testing as I have been for a long time. Anytime this happens, you want to go back, visit things, see where you went wrong, and let everybody who helped you in the past and want to help you really help you. I feel terrible about this. I let a lot of people down. I have been beating myself up for the last four or five days, for this. There’s nobody that feels worse than I do. I am going to do everything I can to lean on shoulders, and hopefully I can get back to the point that it won’t be on my mind again.

"I am going to do everything I can to take the steps necessary, whether it's going to counseling, talking to somebody, everything is open at this point. I am hurt by it, tremendously, more so for my wife and my kids. Then to the Rangers organization, they’ve been nothing but great, supportive of me. It's awesome to work for somebody who really cares for you and not just what you can do for them.

"I am sorry it had to be this way. It’d be nice if it was talking about a contract, but we’ll put that on the backburner for a while."

-- Drew Davison


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A note on the transcript:

"I did take pictures with people, and it was just wrong."

To me, this sentence is misleading grammatically. It reads as if he was saying that taking pictures was wrong.

He actually ended the thought on taking pictures before he paused and then summed up the entirety with, "It was just wrong".

All my support to Josh and his family.

Josh, I wish you nothing but success with your sobriety.

But, on a personal note, I have to say I would not be married to a man who must have a babysitter. Find your strength before you lose your family.

I wish people would just leave Josh alone, everyone drinks now and then, as long as it's not drugs then I see nothing wrong with it. Alcohol last time I checked is not illegall. Have one on me Josh!

It's really starting to irritate me at all the people who are encouraging him to drink. Look, I'm not stupid, I know it's not illegal to drink but nothing good comes out of it. And even if something good did come out of it, it would not outweigh the bad. We all know drinking is legal but obviously Josh doesn't want to. Do you see all the remorse he has? This is a man who has just betrayed family, friends, and fans. But Jesus forgives so I agree please lay off of him, he knows he made a mistake and he's doing all this to try and make amends with the people he hurt, however I don't agree that he should keep drinking. Keep the faith Josh and fight the good fight, we are praying for you, we love you, and hold steady for your friends, family, fans, and, most importantly, your faith.

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