Josh Hamilton: Drunk in Photos from Arizona Bar on Deadspin.com
Josh Hamilton, a Texas Rangers outfielder known for problems with alcohol abuse, confirmed that the Deadspin.com Josh Hamilton drunk photos published in January 2008 featured him in a bar in Arizona, drunk and cavorting with young women who were not his wife.
Hamilton had gone to Arizona to prepare for the upcoming baseball season by training at the Athletes' Performance Institute in Tempe, AZ.
"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.
Hamilton was the No. 1 draft pick for the Tampa Bay Rays in 1999, and left baseball for three years to treat and recover from drug addiction, to cocaine in particular. He is tested for "mood-altering" drugs three times a week as part of his reinstatement terms. Hamilton joined the Texas Rangers in 2007, who acknowledged they were aware of and prepared to deal with his history of substance abuse, including developing a "zero tolerance" policy regarding drinking.
Hamilton reportedly called his "support group", including his wife, Katie Hamilton, his team, and the baseball league, to confess his lapse in sobriety the day after it had happened. He says he will apologize to his teammates and expects further heckling from fans in addition to the amount he currently receives during games about his past drug addiction.
"I'm embarrassed about it for my wife Katie, for my kids and for the organization," Hamilton said. "I'm not perfect. It's an ongoing struggle, and it's real. It's amazing how these things can creep back in. But I am human and I have struggles."
"If you could stand out in right field with me last night, you would have heard them," Hamilton said. "People always wear me out about drugs and stuff. It will happen my whole career. Some people are just like that."
According to Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, Hamilton will not be penalized.
"That would be counterproductive," Daniels said. "We knew that going in when we acquired Josh. We know the risks of dealing with someone with substance abuse problems. Ultimately, he's a grown man and he has to make his own decisions. Nobody's here to baby-sit him, but we should help him make the right decisions and help him get through this."
Previously, Hamilton had publicly stated that he hadn't had a drink since October 2005. He attributes his recovery from substance abuse to having found and being devoted to a relationship with Jesus Christ.