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Josh Hamilton returns to Texas Rangers after seeing MLB doctor

hamiltonjosh070911_optIf Josh Hamilton is going to pay a price for his alcohol relapse, it’s going to be up to Major League Baseball to impose it. The slugger’s team, the Texas Rangers, probably won’t take any action.

Hamilton, a recovering alcoholic and 2010 American League Most Valuable Player, admitted to having more than a few drinks in Dallas on Jan. 30.

It was second off-season relapse — he had a more public binge in January 2009 — and met this week in New York with doctors for Major League Baseball and the players association, the Associated Press reported.

“Given what's happened in the past, at this point it's at their discretion," said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, according to CBS News. "I think it's kind of based on what the doctors find, and what they recommend, whether they feel like this was something bigger."

Hamilton said he didn’t use drugs, a habit that caused him to sit out a three-year suspension from the sport from 2003 to 2005. Since the incident last week, Hamilton has been tested several times for drugs, as mandated by MLB.

After having a few drinks at a Dallas pub on Jan. 30, Hamilton reached out to teammate Ian Kinsler, who spent some time with him before driving him home. Hamilton then returned to another restaurant and drank again.

SEE ALSO

Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton gets personal about alcohol addiction

He met with reporters at the Ballpark in Arlington on Feb. 3 to discuss his relapse and apologize to the team and fans. He said he “personal reasons” involving a family member caused him to have a “weak moment.”

Hamilton returned to the ballpark on Feb. 7 to work out.

“He’s getting ready for the season,” Daniels said.

Daniels noted that Hamilton was accompanied to New York by Shayne Kelley, the team’s just-hired major league staff assistant whose job will include being in a support role for Hamilton. Johnny Narron, who formerly acted in that capacity, left Texas to become hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Hamilton, who can become a free agent after the season, had been talking to the team about a contract extension. After the drinking incident, however, the talks were put on hold.

—JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 

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