The number of Texas Rangers who were teammates with Josh Hamilton has dropped the past few seasons, but those who remain on the club have heard about his reported relapse with cocaine.
Hamilton was at MLB headquarters in New York on Wednesday for a disciplinary hearing after he admitted to his fall from sobriety, according to reports. He had been at a friend’s ranch near Houston to rehab from right shoulder surgery that was expected to keep him out of the Angels’ lineup until May.
The Angels, who lured Hamilton away from the Rangers in December 2012 with a five-year deal worth $125 million, didn’t give Hamilton a locker at their spring home in Tempe.
The question now is will Hamlton, who lives in Westlake, have a locker this season in Anaheim. He violated the minor-league drug policy multiple times, but he never failed a major-league drug test while being tested three times a week since his reinstatement.
“It’s sad when you see news like that, especially with what he’s been through,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “In the end, he’s such a nice person. I hope everything is going well and he can be back on the field.”
Michael Young, a special assistant to Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, said that he is hoping for the best for Hamilton, the 2010 American League MVP and MVP of the AL Championship Series that year as the Rangers went to the World Series for the first time.
“It’s sad. It’s very sad,” Young said. “I don’t know any specific details, but I feel bad for the guy. This is something I can’t relate to, but as a friend and a former teammate, I want the best for Josh and his life. He has little girls that I know he wants to be there for, and it’s a very difficult situation. All I can do is hope for the best.”
The Rangers traded for Hamilton after the 2007 season, and also hired Johnny Narron to travel with Hamilton and live with him at spring training to keep him from using drugs or alcohol. Hamilton slipped with alcohol twice, once early in 2009 in Arizona and again early in 2012 in Dallas. Narron had left the Rangers after the 2011 season to be the Brewers’ hitting coach, and he was replaced by Shayne Kelley.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760