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Rangers put Josh Hamilton contract talks on hold after relapse

Feb 3, 2012, 6:12 PM EDT

Josh Hamilton Getty Images

The Rangers and Josh Hamilton were expected to do their best to get an extension done this spring, but those plans have changed now following Hamilton’s night out at a Dallas-area bar earlier this week.

GM Jon Daniels and Hamilton’s agent, Michael Moye, confirmed the decision to put talks on hold to ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon this afternoon. Hamilton concluded his news conference on Thursday by saying, “It would be nice if it was talking about a contract, but we’ll put that on the back burner for a while.”

Hamilton, the American League MVP in 2010, is entering the final year of a two-year, $24 million contract and will be eligible for free agency for the first time after the season. Any long-term deal with him is going to be a risk. Even if one wants to discount his history of drug and alcohol abuse, there’s still the matter of injuries: the 30-year-old Hamilton has averaged 118 games per season in his five years in the bigs and there’s a real possibility he’ll be even less durable in his 30s than he was in his 20s.

One wonders how Hamilton’s relapse could have affected the Rangers’ talks with Prince Fielder had it happened a couple of weeks earlier. Might the team have been more willing to meet Fielder’s asking price and potentially let Hamilton walk at season’s end had they known what was coming? That’s not a question Daniels or Nolan Ryan figures to answer out loud anytime soon, but they’ve surely had the subject on their minds.

  1. dondada10 - Feb 3, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Just sad. Reading this article just made me that much sadder that this happened to Hamilton. Addiction is a heartless bitch.

  2. yettyskills - Feb 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Poor Poor multi millionaire drunk will have to settle for only 2 years at 15 million per, yes it’s so so sad.

    • spudchukar - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:09 AM

      Please let me know when someone offers you $10 for your insightful commentary.

    • allmyteamsareterrible - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      You do not have the foggiest clue how difficult it is to deal with alcaholism. Your comment proves your ignorance. Money is not a factor, it will destroy the lives of any person regardless of their salary. I can only guess you are young, or you are fortunate enough to never have had to deal with someone close to you having this disease

    • allmyteamsareterrible - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      You do not have the foggiest clue how difficult it is to deal with alcoholism. Your comment proves your ignorance. Money is not a factor, it will destroy the lives of any person regardless of their salary. I can only guess you are young, or you are fortunate enough to never have had to deal with someone close to you having this disease

  3. mdpickles - Feb 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Pat Burrell can be his “sponsor.”

  4. florida76 - Feb 3, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    This is definitely a black or white issue. Hamilton must stop any relapse into the bad habits of the past, he knows better than most this isn’t easy. The motivation must come from within-his life is literally on the line here. His family and career must win out over drugs and alcohol.

    Don’t blame the Rangers at all for postponing these contract talks. Given his history of serious abuse, Hamilton may well age faster than other players. Hopefully, he can find the help, and strength to overcome this relapse.

  5. paperlions - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Hamilton having a relapse would somehow affect Jon Daniels judgement and he would decide to give a fat man that can’t field or run a 9 year $214M contract (or thereabouts)?

  6. randygnyc - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    And the other shoe falls.

  7. 27xwschamps - Feb 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    JACKASS !!!!

  8. mbdsta - Feb 3, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    This is the sorriest bunch of comments I’ve read in a long time. The guy has a relapse and he’s a “jackass”? The guy has a few drinks for the first time in YEARS, not hurting anyone except himself, if that, and he’s a “hopeless millionaire drunk”? “The other shoe falls”? You’ve been waiting around for the “other shoe” to fall? Dumb, meet Ass.

    The guy wasn’t on a crazy bender, didn’t beat anyone up, didn’t sexually assault anyone, didn’t get in his car and kill anyone. Dude had a relapse by having a few drinks during what is going to be a life-time battle against a disease. IF he hurt anyone, it was himself. I see none of you care what led to this. He said he had some personal problems with someone very close to him. I see none of you said “Wow, I wonder what the issues he’s dealing with that he says drove him to drink were? I hope his personal life is ok!”

    Josh Hamilton is a feel-good story. He’s someone to be admired for battling through his problems and facing them head on when he stumbles (which happens so rarely that when he finally has a few drinks, it’s a major sports news story). He’s already fought through more than any of you have and he’s accomplished more after getting through his initial problems than any 10 of you ever will, unless you consider being a “commenting troll” an accomplishment.

    There was nothing salacious about this story or the pictures and you trolls only know this happened at all is because he TOLD you…and he only did that in an attempt to get out in front of it because he knows you trolls live for the opportunity to take shots at a person, preferably when he’s down. This is the part about the internet I hate — nothing informative or interesting in these comments, just clowns trying to one up each over w/ silly puns.

    • cur68 - Feb 3, 2012 at 10:05 PM

      I don’t do idiotic thumb clicks, so allow me to register my approval of the above comment and thank the commenter for saving me the trouble of a few hundred PO’d words to the same effect.

      For those of you who think alcoholism is some sort of choice, what follows is a paraphrase of the comment I posted on the last Hamilton post:

      Full disclosure: I’m no expert on alcoholism BUT I can research. This is what I’ve found.
      Primate studies seem to indicate a genetic link to alcoholism. In primate studies researchers have found that 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. 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.

    • jerseyshoregiant - Feb 4, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      You have obviously never been around an addict/alcoholic!! They do a lot more than just hurt themselves, they hurt everyone around them(family,friends, etc) The dude is lucky he has people around him because all it takes an addict is one drink to become even worse than they ever were.

  9. bowwserr - Feb 3, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    As a human being, I am praying for Hamilton. This cannot be easy for him, and he works harder than any of the idiotic trolls mentioned above will in their entire lives, just just to stay on the sober path. Times like these, when he stumbles, is not the time for idiots to start throwing stones. God knows what wrong, evil things you people do. That glass house y’all are living in is starting to crack.

    As a Rangers fan….who the HELL in their right mind would take Fielder over Hamilton!? Anyone? Cmon. The guy will forever be one of those “before” pictures in diet or workout commercials. Does he do ANY training? Ridiculous. Resign him Nolan, I beg of you. This baseball team could literally save his life.

  10. Old Gator - Feb 4, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    One thing I’m curious about: the story said Hamilton was out with some friends. Did none of these so-called “friends” say, hey Josh, not good, not good? I grant you that you cannot simply grab a grown man’s drink away from him but if you’re supposed to be a “friend” you can bring a lot more moral pressure to bear that the guys he was with apparently did. I wasn’t there, I don’t know. But if they just stood by and did nothing he better find himself another bunch of pals.

    • Alex K - Feb 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      From what I understand he didn’t drink while Kinsler was around.

      Also not mentioned…how did he get home after the drinking? Did he drive himself? Did he take a cab? I hope he found another way home.

  11. theboot62 - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Josh Hamilton. Man who admits when he is wrong. Steps up to the plate mans up tell the world about it. Then he moves on. I think we all could benefit from looking at the way that man confronts his issues and takes full responsibility for his actions and moves on. Praying for him. His story is bigger than baseball. He is hero to many. And I look forward to many of years to come with him wearing ranger blue.

  12. spudchukar - Feb 4, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    He plays hard.

  13. chiadam - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    Here’s what has always bothered me about the Josh Hamilton love festival, which peaked during the nauseating HR Derby when the ESPN puppets had to change their boxers a few times: what about the guys that never gave in to the tempation to abuse drugs and alcohol? Hamilton has bouquets thrown at his feet because he used to be a junkie and beat it. Sort of. But what about the guys who don’t shovel things up their noses or into their veins to begin with?

    • paperlions - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      To addicts, it isn’t simply a temptation, but a compulsion. The attraction of alcohol (or gambling or other drugs) isn’t the same for everyone. Just because something is easy for you, doesn’t mean that it’s easy for everyone else.

  14. mets79 - Feb 4, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I find it interesting that he clearly wanted to get caught. In choosing to have a few beers in a public place he knew it would get out. I realize that he is playing a dangerous game as an addict by even taking a sip but if he was really looking to jump of a ledge he would have bought some smack and gone to a hotel room. His actions sound like someone looking to give in to his addiction but not completely because he had friends around him and the watchful eye of the public. Not smart move when you are in a contract year but I doubt that was on his mind. If I were the Rangers I would also take some time before signing him but this could have been a lot worse.

  15. bowwserr - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Thank you, paperlions. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Some people who have mindlessly commented on here don’t seem to realize that there is a difference, a huge one, between addiction and disease. And alcoholism IS a disease. I smoke cigarettes. It’s no ones’ fault but my own when I light one up. Just as it was no ones’ fault but Josh’s when he decided to do drugs. And if he had relapsed with drugs, I wouldn’t be NEAR as sympathetic. THAT is a choice. Alcoholism is not. And its dangerous. We should be praying for him, not PREYing on him.

  16. henryjones20 - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Bowwserr: your post was great until you decided to throw prince to the wolves! What was up with that??you r upset that ppl r bashing your beloved hero so u decide to bash someone u have never met and know burning about.pot meet kettle. Pathetic

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