ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. One of the people most instrumental in getting Josh Hamilton back to the minor leagues said that he will be ready to help the Texas Rangers’ outfielder whenever he might need him.
Roy Silver ran a Christian-based baseball academy in nearby Clearwater where Hamilton exchanged work and sobriety for use of the facilities in 2006 as he attempted to be allowed back into baseball after multiple suspensions for violating the Joint Drug Agreement.
Hamilton admitted in February to a relapse with cocaine. Silver, hired by the Rangers in January as a player development consultant, said that Hamilton should retire. Instead, Hamilton has been traded back to the Rangers and should be making his 2015 debut in the next 10 to 14 days.
“I haven’t talked to him in a couple weeks, but I think he’s doing good and is ready to go,” said Silver, who lives in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and has been at Tropicana Field during the Rangers’ four-game series against Tampa Bay. “I think this is a place Josh is at his best and this is best for him.”
The Rangers have rehired Shayne Kelley to be Hamilton’s accountability partner, and Kelley was with Hamilton in Arizona and are together in Nashville as Hamilton begins a rehab assignment today with Triple A Round Rock.
Silver hasn’t been assigned any Hamilton-related duties by the Rangers, but he doesn’t need to be. If Hamilton needs another shoulder lean upon, Silver will be ready.
“I’m always there for Josh if he needs me,” Silver said. “He’s got a lot of people in his corner. You just pray that when he’s in need that he calls.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760