According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, recovering from alcohol and drug addictions, had a relapse this week in his quest to remain sober.
According to individuals familiar with the episode, Hamilton drank alcohol Monday night at Sherlock’s Pub & Grill in Dallas. Teammate Ian Kinsler also showed up at the bar for what appeared to be an attempt to persuade Hamilton to return to his home in Westlake.
Hamilton, a four-time All-Star and the American League Most Valuable Player in 2010, can become a free agent after this season. He has said he will stop negotiations on an extension when he reports to spring training. It was not known how this incident will affect the Rangers’ desire to work out a long-term extension with Hamilton.
Teammates recognize the danger to Hamilton from exposure to alcohol. Out of respect for Hamilton, the Rangers used ginger ale rather than the traditional Champagne to drench each other while he was in the room for clubhouse celebrations during the last two seasons.
Hamilton dealt with personal tragedy last summer. On July 7, during a game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, he flipped a foul ball toward the left-field bleacher seats as a souvenir. A spectator, firefighter Shannon Stone of Brownwood, Texas, lost his balance reaching for the baseball and tumbled to his death. Hamilton has developed a relationship with Stone’s son Cooper, who was at the game, and the family.
Hopefully, it’s just a setback and he’ll straighten himself out with some help from his friends, family and teammates.