Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had a relapse with alcohol Monday night at a Dallas-area bar, according to baseball sources, marking his second known slip since returning to baseball after battling addictions to drugs and alcohol early in his career.
The Rangers have informed Major League Baseball of the situation, but had little to say Thursday night.
"We are aware of a situation but have no further comment at this time," a club official said.
KTVT/Channel 11 reported Thursday that second baseman Ian Kinsler was seen with Hamilton at Sherlock’s Pub in North Dallas. A source, though, said that Kinsler went there only after receiving a call from Hamilton.
Hamilton also had a relapse in January 2009 in a bar in Tempe, Ariz. Photos surfaced in August while the Rangers were in Anaheim, and he discussed the situation the next day. He said it was the first time he had slipped since Oct. 6, 2005, the day he says he found the strength to battle his addictions through religion.
He was the first overall pick in the 1999 draft but started using cocaine as a minor-leaguer in 2001. He failed several drug tests over the next few years and was banned from baseball in 2003. He was allowed back into the game by the commissioner's office in 2006 after staying sober for more than half a year. Hamilton made the Cincinnati Reds' Opening Day roster in 2007, and was traded to the Rangers in December 2007.
Hamilton, who won the American League MVP in 2010, is tested three times a week for drugs. He had been accompanied on the road by Johnny Narron since his major-league debut in 2007, but Narron left the Rangers after last season to become hitting coach in Milwaukee.
The Rangers hired Hamilton's father-in-law, Michael Dean Chadwick, last month to replace Narron has Hamilton's accountability partner, but Chadwick backed out shortly after taking the position to tend to his family and business in North Carolina.
The Rangers have zeroed in on a replacement and were planning to make an announcement of Chadwick's replacement perhaps as early as next week.
-- Jeff Wilson