Hamilton hopes his latest relapse was the last
SURPRISE, ARIZ. (AP) - Slugger Josh Hamilton openly acknowledges he’ll be an addict for life. As far as slip-ups are concerned, he prays they will be few and far between along his path to sobriety.
And pray is truly what the Texas star does. Every day. Especially since an alcohol relapse last month.
Hamilton hopes he is done for good discussing the incident and there won’t be any more mistakes down the line to derail his progress.
“You know what, I’ve got a lot of weaknesses, guys,” Hamilton said Friday. “For me it’s communication. I’m on all the time. A lot of these guys are. When you get home it’s very easy to shut down, therefore your relationship with your wife, your relationship with your kids suffers from that because you want to go to shut-down mode. It’s about me being able to open up all the time and realizing my commitment needs to be to them first rather than everybody else. The priorities there need to be flipped.”
Hamilton insists he’s in a much better place emotionally and spiritually just in the past three weeks. He has apologized and shown remorse for his Jan. 30 dinner in Dallas during which he had several drinks and continued drinking later that night. It was the second known relapse with alcohol in the past three years for the recovering drug addict.
“I don’t like continuing to make mistakes, it jumps up and bites me,” he said, noting he needs to take back control of his choices and actions.
In a nearly 37-minute news conference outside the clubhouse Friday, Hamilton held a stack of notes and a Bible, recited a half-dozen verses that have influenced him recently and said he will no longer throw a “Band-Aid” over his addiction and communication issues but rather look for a long-term solution.
“Don’t get me wrong, this is going to be an ongoing process until the day I die,” Hamilton said. “So it’s never going to stop. The relationships in my house with my kids, my wife, all those things, have gotten 100 times better just in three weeks. I see where I want to be.”
He said he also understands why the Rangers have tabled talks about a contract extension. Hamilton described negotiations as “on hold” and said his unsettled status won’t be addressed during the season.
Hamilton, who is eligible for free agency after this season, said it’s up to the front office to decide whether he deserves a long-term contract.
“I hate that this happened. They knew the risks from the time they took me in ‘08,” Hamilton said. “I’ve done a lot of good here, and they’ve been good to me, too. There’s always ways to work things out. You know what, I’m not stressing over a long-term contract because I know I’ll be playing baseball. …
“Put it this way, I’m not going to jump at the first thing offered. I’m not in a situation, `No, I feel like this might happen to me, I better get what I can get when I can get it.’ I don’t feel that way. I feel very confident in my sobriety, I feel very confident in my relationship with Christ and my family supporting me, and the Rangers supporting me. They’ve been there for a while. It’s been good.”
Hamilton is making a conscious effort not to “shut down” once he leaves work and returns home to wife, Katie, and the couple’s two daughters. That starts with communication and identifying when he might be headed toward that mode, he said.
Teammate Ian Kinsler was with Hamilton on that Jan. 30 night but has said he didn’t see him drink.