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Josh Hamilton: “I had a weak moment … it was just wrong”

Feb 3, 2012, 2:13 PM EDT

Hamilton presser

Josh Hamilton just spoke to the media about his falling off the wagon on Monday night in Dallas.

Hamilton said he had “a weak moment” Monday night. Brought on by “personal reasons, with a family member.”  He said he walked to a restaurant and had three or four drinks. He said he called Ian Kinsler. Kinsler joined him at the restaurant, but he did not know Hamilton had been drinking. “I can be sneaky and deceptive,” Hamilton said.

After the restaurant closed, he and Kinsler went to another location where Hamilton said he didn’t drink in Kinsler’s presence, but resumed doing so after Kinsler left. He said that there were pictures taken by people and that he assumes that they’ll leak out eventually, though there wasn’t any suggestion that they’re going to be particularly interesting or salacious.

Hamilton said that he he had two drug tests since Monday and says he is clean.  He said alcohol is a different thing for him and “a switch flips.”  He made no excuses. “It was just wrong,” Hamilton said.  He said “90 percent of the time I’m fine,” but that not everyone is fine all the time.  He said he’s going “to lean on some shoulders and, hopefully, we’ll get to a point where people can lean on mine again.”

All-in-all, Hamilton sounds contrite and accountable. He plans on meeting with the league and the union in New York and to consult doctors who have dealt with his addiction in the past.  I’m not sure that there is anything else he could say or do at this point. It’s, as far as anyone not close to the situation can tell, all he can do and all you’d hope to hear from him.

I imagine that this is very similar to the sort of struggle every addict has. Except Hamilton, by virtue of who he is, is forced to do it all in public.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Call somebody before you pick up not after. I feel his pain, I truly do. The hardest thing to do is walk into a room and say that a relapse happened. It rips a lot of people up…the associated guilt and whatnot. I’m sure he knows there is a better way to live. It is truly up to him as to whether he wants to use the tools necessary to stave off the first drink. While an alcoholic/addict might be powerless over that first and subsequent drink, steps can be taken to improve ones spiritual defenses. I sincerely wish him the best. To me, it sounds like he needs to get to work on himself.

    • kyleortonsarm - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      He’s not sorry about drinking, he’s sorry about getting caught.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        I don’t know man…this is just my perception (which has been known to be wrong, just ask any regular around here) but it seems to me that he got himself caught on purpose.

      • miketreedy - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        Dude, this is Josh Hamilton and he was drinking in Dallas. I think he probably knew he would get caught. He may have even wanted to get caught because he knew he needed help.

        There are lots of famous athletes in Dallas. Many, especially on the Cowboys, do things that they don’t want people to know about so they don’t do it in the middle of popular bars. Several players on the Cowboys in the 90’s even bought a house just for the sake of hiding all that they were doing.

        My point is Josh is an addict, he’s not stupid. He had to know someone would see him drinking. Hell, there were people taking pictures of him. He has serious problems and needs help. Hopefully he will continue to get it.

      • baseballisboring - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:12 PM

        Oh shut the fuck up, it’s not like he got caught using steroids and said “Uh…I was careless…with uh….natural…supplements…?” If it were that I could see your line of reasoning. Thing is, he doesn’t have to be sorry to any of us. Like Craig said, just being a public figure he has to deal with his addiction on a public forum. But he doesn’t owe us anything. You can bet all 9 of your brain cells that he’s extremely concerned about his own sobriety, regretful for drinking, and sorry to his family and the people that love him. That’s more than enough. He went to a slippery place and he fell…it’s none of our business, frankly. I’m actually impressed about how accountable he’s being over this…he was the last time, too.

      • baseballisboring - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:17 PM

        I doubt if he got himself caught on purpose though. Sounds like he was just in a bad place mentally and didn’t really give a shit whether he got caught or not…I mean, it’s not like he can really drink in private…he can’t bring a 30 rack home to his wife.

      • michflaguy - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:03 AM

        I think calling Kinsler was his ‘cry for help’. He definitely wanted to ‘get caught’. Getting caught is their way of not having to take the step themselves to stop. Very common.

    • florida727 - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      I’m asking this out of ignorance, but for an alcoholic, does 3-4 drinks “impair” him? I know it opens that door to self-destruction and that’s what he wants to avoid obviously. I’m NOT making light of the amount he consumed… I’m only wondering how much damage was done.

      This guy seems to be one of the genuinely nice guys in baseball. I hope he does have someone to lean on and help him through this ongoing battle. The game is better off with him in it.

      BTW, “kyleortonsarm”, you’re an @$$hole. But thanks for confirming to everyone here what an idiot post looks like.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        This will just be my opinion…an informed opinion but an opinion nonetheless. He probably felt the drinks but wasn’t drunk or obviously impaired. The quantity isn’t really important. See, it really comes down to the little lies we tell ourselves…the internal dishonesty. I have 10 years of continuous sobriety and have not relapsed so this isn’t based upon personal experience though experience I have had with others who have relapsed. It starts small…maybe just a few drinks. They tell themselves, “See, no big deal.” Next time it is 7-8 drinks. Then, it is 7-8 drinks with a few lines, etc. I’ve seen it happen over and over again and is sad each time. Unfortunately, many people who got back out don’t survive to tell their tale. It is fucking tragic man.

  2. gnat9 - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    I have 20+ years of recovery and played professional soccer. Recovery is a journey and triggers exist for each and everyone who suffers from this insidious disease. The sad news is that the vast majority of individual working on recovery slip. I for the grace of my higher power have not had a slip YET. Josh needs to work his program for only himself, surround himself with folks that support his recovery and won’t take any of the BS we addicts are masters of… He came clean, owns is bad choice and I hope that he will work with his sponsor and others in recovery to stay clean.

    • brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      From what he indicated numerous times he is not in a 12 step program he is trying something else. He does acknowledge that he has a problem but I have tried numerous something else’s and have found nothing that compares to the 12 steps. Bodyguards and accountablility partners be damned, get a sponsor dude. I usually try to throw the turd in the punch bowl but I can relate to this guy.

  3. a125125125 - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Josh, there are real consequences to alcohol consumption. If you get caught enough (3 or 4 times), your employer MIGHT do something (temporary) about it.

    Also…he’s fine “90% of the time”? That’s not terribly high. It means he’s spending roughly 2.5 hours per day being “not fine.” Hope he gets the help he needs.

    • paperlions - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      It is worth pointing out, given your inaccurate analogy, that McLaughlin repeatedly broke a law while drunk….Hamilton only had some drinks, which is a personal issue, but did not endanger anyone or violate any laws.

      • JBerardi - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        “Hamilton only had some drinks, which is a personal issue, but did not endanger anyone or violate any laws.”

        It endangers Josh Hamilton pretty badly.

    • a125125125 - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Sorry that so many of you have disliked this comment. Honestly, I was just having a “weak moment.”

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Please be strong, Josh. You have a lot to live for and be accountable for. Get all the support you need!

  5. cur68 - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    All in all, it could have been worse. It looks like Hamilton doesn’t want to disappoint people who know and respect him directly, hence his calling of Kinsler and past reliance on an accountabilibuddy. On his own, with time to brood over whatever is troubling him and he can fall hard off the wagon.

  6. yettyskills - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    So what are the chances a GM is desperate enough to give him anything beyond a 3 year deal?

    • JBerardi - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      People are thumbing this down, but if the Rangers themselves didn’t have some doubts about his future, they’d probably have locked him up by now. I think they know him a little better than we do.

  7. shaggytoodle - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I am glad I don’t have to hold a press conference after I go out for a couple of drinks, not to be insensitive, but its his life. while I know he has demons to fight its ALL about will power and being stubborn about the situation.

    I know people that have tried to quit drinking, I know people that have been sober for a years, in thier attempts to quit drinking. I just wish it wasn’t as public for him, because its no ones business, but his own.

    • paperlions - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      While true…the fact that it is public may actually help him at times…there is no hiding for him, no span of time where he can deny a problem and slip farther.

      • indyralph - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        I agree. Whether right or wrong, there are many people who have a vested interested in his sobriety aside from just his general well-being. If he is struggling now, I fear the day when only those who care about his general well-being are there for support.

  8. shawndc04 - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Hang in there big man. We’re pulling for you. Just call someone immediately when you think you might be relapsing.

  9. bleedgreen - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Why does he have to have a meeting with the league about him having some drinks? I understand its a big problem for HIM and he may need all the support he can get, but what does MLB have to do with it? He did nothing illegal.

    • indyralph - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      He’s not required to to meet with the league at all. He’s choosing to meet with them in order to leverage their substantial resources to help him deal with his problem.

  10. btwicey - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Lean on God bro, you’ll be ok just press into him

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      so many priest jokes, so little time.

      Sue me if I’m insensitive that way. Doesn’t mean I’m not hoping Hamilton doesn’t right himself (I hope he’s fine).

      Only means that I find btwicey’s sentence a bit creepy-like, as if it came from the lecherous guidebook or something.

  11. siouxyaya17 - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Other than his family, teammates, and people who have a vested interest in his on field performance I don’t understand why this is such a big deal. Who cares! Guy had a few beers, chill out.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      It is a big deal for me whenever anybody relapses…whether it be Josh Hamilton, a sponsee, or some random person. He might have made it through this time, but there are no guarantees he makes it next time. I’ve known way to many people who have gone out for a drink and a month later wound up dead or worse from addiction. I don’t want to see anybody and I mean anybody have to deal with the depths of depravity and soulessness inherent in addiction.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 4, 2012 at 1:51 AM

        OK, hold it. I haven’t been an addict so I don’t know how it feels. I can only see what has been shown in this guy’s case. If I read this right, he has had profound problems in the past with various chemicals, including alcohol. On this occasion, he had some alcohol and, what stands out to me is that this did NOT result in him spiraling into a dark pit of indulging any other cravings. He drank, and then stopped himself from going overboard. This would seem to suggest that he has developed some control over his cravings for various chemicals. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? And while he might well feel bad about not adhering to his commitments to himself and others, and probably ought not push his luck, so to speak, this does not seem to be a disaster for him, but actually a positive thing.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Feb 4, 2012 at 7:36 AM

        Honestly, that is the type of thinking many alcoholics/addicts employ. Problem is, that line of thinking typical ends up with them dead or in jail. There is never any control after the first of anything has been taken.

  12. brenenostler - Feb 3, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    So he’s not even allowed to do it every once in a while?

    • diehardtwinsfan - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      I’m not sure if he’s “not allowed” or not… Drinking is legal. He’s admitted to an addiction with drugs and alcohol. It’s better for him if he chooses never to drink again. But I’m not sure he technically did anythign wrong… I really do hope for the best for him. Addiction can be tough to break. My thoughts and prayers are with you Josh.

    • seattlej - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      He’s “allowed” to do whatever he wants so long as its not against the law. He’s a consenting adult and ultimately, for better or worse, the only person he’s accountable to is himself.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:48 PM

        How can you not want to feel like this longer?

      • cur68 - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM

        I don’t get drunk in front of people. I get drunk alone

        Not as simple as staying out of a bar, is it.

  13. shaggytoodle - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    So there is no way in hell that the Brewers would be able to sign this guy they could use a LH bat.

  14. charlutes - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Great for him to be so forthright. I am a big Josh Hamilton fan, and really I have no reason to be. (Toronto Blue Jays all day!) I just find his honesty refreshing. He’s been through so much, its astounding how good he still is. I am happy that this seems like a minor incident, because after the fan tragedy this year and now family isuues coming up for JH, it must be tough to be under this kind of public scrutiny, and simultaneously fight his own deamons.

    Heck of a ball player.

  15. dsimp724 - Feb 3, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Ron washington told him instead of drinking he should have toed the company “line”

    • spudchukar - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      Please enlighten me. In what Universe is that funny?

      • frankvzappa - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        In my universe, certainly. Well played.

      • cur68 - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        Yeah, dsimp, anytime you find yourself in frankv’s universe, get the hell out.

  16. JB (the original) - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    I call this sort of thing the “one or six or ten”. On occasion, you go out with the intent of having one or two, then you’re talking or get involved with the game on the tube and they’re going down easy, and the next thing you know it’s closing time and you look at the tab and say, ‘holy smokes’. Didn’t start out with those intentions and things just get away from you. It happens. Many a husband (and wives) have come home to the angry spouse with the “I thought you were going to be home in an hour….” type thing. Learn from the experience Josh.

  17. Walk - Feb 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    I have spent the majority of my life in military and working law enforcement. I am actually encouraged though by the way this is being handled. Yes a lot of this is probably pr but majority of people with issues i encountered during the course of my duty could not say that drinking or drugs were a problem or even admit they used. By holding himself responsible he is taking control and being accountable for his life. On that part at least well done sir.

    • JBerardi - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      How many of people you encountered during the course of your duty had publicists? I mean, hopefully he is taking personal responsibility for this, but come on. He was always going to say the right thing publicly no matter what.

      • Walk - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:51 PM

        Jb every one i have spoken to in the course of my duty had the right to an attorney to speak on their behalf even if they could not afford one. I am sorry sir, i do not mean for this to be an issue i just try to look for the positive when i see things. I personally have a hard time making new friends becuase of my work to counter that i try hard to find the little things to root for. Now in my post i opined that those word were likely influenced by a pr person but if you have spent any time with someone who has an addiction just getting them to admit it and believe is the the first hurdle. In no way was i cheering for him to fall off his horse nor was i suggesting the problem was solved only that there is hope and seeing signs of the road ahead.

  18. JBerardi - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    So I guess if you’re white, an athlete, and you talk about the big invisible sky daddy a lot, people will love you regardless of your many obvious failings. Oh wait, I already knew that from Tim Tebow, plus also the entire history of American sports up to this point.

    I honestly wish Hamilton nothing for the best in his struggles. But the love-fest for him in this thread is a little embarrassing. He’s not the hero you think he is, folks.

    • paperlions - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      Rooting for someone to overcome their addiction isn’t hero worship…it is just wishing them the best.

    • paperlions - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      Sorry man…but you are slipping into zappa’s universe.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      But the love-fest for him in this thread is a little embarrassing.

      Maybe it’s to counter those people who don’t understand the problem he’s dealing with? Or to put it another way:
      “Alcoholism is a disease, but it’s the only one you can get yelled at for having. Goddamn it Otto, you are an alcoholic. Goddamn it Otto, you have Lupus… one of those two doesn’t sound right.”–Mitch Hedberg

  19. plowe70 - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    It must suck to have your every move scrutinized in the public microscope.

  20. jeffa43 - Feb 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    What bartender “IN DALLAS NONE THE LESS” would serve him a drink? Seriously, has anyone even thought of that?

    You cant say that you did not know who he was….. and say you dont know his story.

    Just a thought …. Look out for those who help fill your bar then entire summer… jackass.

    Hope Josh CONTINUES to get help, he has done nothing but prove he has a big heart.

  21. papacrick - Feb 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Miguel Cabrera is a better ball player than this guy but nobody offers him support or wishes him well. Pays to be white and publicly praising God all the time.

    • cur68 - Feb 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM

      I think its the bit where Miggy was threatening people, acted like a lunatic, arguably drove while severely drunk, and never addressed his team’s fans that saw Miggy get the antipathy. Hamilton fell off the wagon publicly after nearly pissing away his career and life behind drugs and alcohol as a younger man. Then got his ass up in front of the media the next day and owned up for who he is and what he did. I could give a crap as to which one praised what god or what colour they are.

      • stuckonwords - Feb 4, 2012 at 12:28 AM

        To be fair, Detroit fans are as supportive for Miggy very closely to the percentages I’ve seen here for Hamilton (maybe 98% to 2%, wouldn’t you say?). We’re not mad at him, just disappointed and supportive.

        What you say is very true, however, from a national viewpoint. People were very put off by the antics Miggy displayed. Heck, even I was.

        But there’s a point to be made here: different drunks act differently, but they’re still drunks (alcoholics). Regardless of how embarrassing Miggy’s offenses, the truth is that both he and Hamilton are in the same boat. Hamilton’s a little fortunate, frankly, that he didn’t (as far as I know) make himself look like the ass Miggy did when he was drunk. But let there be no mistake: when you’re an alcoholic, the fight is no harder or easier for one than another. It’s a bit of a shame, really, that Miggy didn’t get the same kind of love (nationally).

        While we’re a country of 2nd chances, we’re also not even the least bit hesitant to pass judgment. Miggy was drunk when he made an ass of himself. Let’s show him some love. He really *has* been a model citizen ever since.

      • cur68 - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:34 AM

        Stuck: I was speaking in the past tense about the immediate aftermath of Miggy’s arrest. Currently, as he is now (In shape, free of controversy) I have nothing to say about him but I’m hardly going to line up Miggy in the same league of person as Hamilton. But, if he can stay out of trouble, be a decent dude and teammate as called upon then, meh, I got no beef with him, and I wish him well.

      • stuckonwords - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:59 PM

        Why is it that Miguel, a guy who apologized, hasn’t relapsed, is in shape, and has been a model citizen since his drunken mistake isn’t “in the same league as a person” as a guy who’s at least as much an alcoholic as Miguel, been addicted to hard-core drugs, had a couple relapses, and talks nicely on camera? What makes Miguel not even be in his league as a person?

        Mind you, I’m not knocking Hamilton. I support him. But to assess Miguel as a person, don’t you have to take into account a lot more than the things he did and said while he was drunk? You’re sure taking the non-drunk, non-drug-induced moments into account when you decide the kind of person Hamilton is.

  22. ireportyoudecide - Feb 3, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    “Alcoholism is a disease” that’s debateable, it’s a chronic condition brought upon by alcohol that can show up in the brain on a MRI. However it is usually diagnosed without any scientifici evidence. The point being is whether you are born with this condition or not you have to drink to for it to start. It’s a choice, he chose to drink and do drugs at some point in his life. Maybe, his brain was more suseptible to addiction then others but it is still a choice.

    I am sure many cancer patients who have a disease wish their diesease was as curable as staying out of the bar.

    • cur68 - Feb 3, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      I’m no expert on alcoholism but I find it hard to credit that “its as curable as staying out of the bar”. Many alcoholics drink alone at home. As to the disease aspect check out some primate studies sometime. They come to different conclusions than you: ones based on the evidence that, like humans, monkeys fall into the same categories as we do. Those of binge drinker, steady drinker, social drinker and teetotaller. There seems to be a genuine genetic trait that predisposes us to these categories. I believe these studies are being led by Dr.s Ervin & Palmour, professors of human genetics and psychiatry (respectively) at McGill (Montreal). It seems that, like cancer patients, binge drinkers have no say in what genetic package they are born with.

  23. dondiego27 - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    The fact that he was drinking in public places where he was caught brings much doubt to his sincerity about staying dry. What goes on with the confines of his home?

  24. bobbynj - Feb 4, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    Josh sounds like the real deal to me. He sounds like the type of alcoholic that treament industry methods DO NOT work for. A real, hopeless variety (wants to stay stopped, but cant) alcoholic needs to recover by spiritual principals. The book Alcoholics Anonymous contains the directions on how to recover from alcoholism and stay sober permanently. The program contained in the book has been successfully used for 73 years. Unfortunately, for the type of alcoholic Josh is the “treatment industry” has made alcoholism and drug addiction a big money game over the last 40 years or so. A real alcoholic doesnt have a choice on whether he will drink again or not. And I know that sounds like a cop-out to those who dont understand and those who arent alcoholics themselves. But its true. The treatment indusrty cant “sell” a spiritual solution. Thats the problem. New ideas, theories, medications, processes, thinking, methods, beliefs and mis-information which have been developed as a way to continually build a better mouse trap and thus attract more patients have acted as a screen between the alcoholic and the true recovery process freely taken and given through AA. Even in the fellowship meetings by the same name, inspite of the message contained in the book have been infiltrated by ideas suggesting the alcoholic can in any away manage to keep himself from taking a drink. Use of the term “triggers” and such bastardize, water down and weaken the message and program of spiritual action which can interest and hold people like Josh. Theres a lot of well-intentioned, mis-informed people trying to help people they really cant help. Theres also the money grabbers who are involved. It’s a shame. I can only hope that this time Josh finally finds the right people to help him.

  25. bobbynj - Feb 4, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.- pg 24 Alcoholics Anonymous

    Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.- pg 43 Alcoholics Anonymous

    There’s a spiritual solution for those who cant stay stopped using “treament industry” methods.

    • stuckonwords - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:10 PM

      Bobby? Am I reading you correctly? Are you saying that a “real alcoholic” can only hope to overcome his/her alcoholism through an spiritual connection with a higher being?

      I mean…surely you’re not suggesting that a “real alcoholic” who is also an atheist or an agnostic has no hope of overcoming alcoholism. That would be…well…just silly.

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