Josh Hamilton: Rangers' Star Slugger Reportedly Has Alcohol Relapse

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers bats during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterFebruary 2, 2012

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton relapsed with alcohol in a Dallas bar on Monday, according to a report from Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News.

It is unknown what kind of circumstances led Hamilton to drink this week, but sources say that Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler showed up at the bar, apparently in an attempt to persuade Hamilton to go home.

The Rangers have issued a statement, saying they are "aware of a situation, but we don't have further comment at this time."

Hamilton last relapsed in January of 2009 in a bar in Tempe, Arizona. He owned up to what he did the next day and willfully submitted to a drug test and participated in an MLB-mandated counseling program.

Every baseball fan under the sun is familiar with Hamilton's career story. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999, but he got into drugs and alcohol during the 2001 season. He was out of baseball altogether by 2004, and he didn't play at all for a period of three years between 2004 and 2006.

Hamilton didn't make his major league debut until 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds, homering for his first big-league hit. He has been one of the best players in baseball ever since, winning the American League MVP in 2010 after he was traded to the Rangers in 2008.

Though it was an embarrassment, the incident in Tempe in 2009 was limited to a single night. Hamilton was honest about it, saying he had been reminded of a valuable lesson.

"It just crossed my mind that night, 'Can I have a drink?' Obviously I can't and this reinforces that. Since that night, I have not had another thought like that. I know it's something I shouldn't do because it leads to other things," he said.

We don't know what led Hamilton to drink and we don't know how bad he got on Monday, but you hope that he can move on from this incident the same way he moved on from the 2009 incident. It didn't derail his life or his career, so there's no reason this one has to.


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