So, hey, some news to break the boredom and monotony of the late offseason doldrums...
Josh Hamilton, as everyone knows by now, had a relapse with alcohol this week, reportedly being seen at Sherlock's consuming alcohol. Ian Kinsler reportedly came out to the bar to talk to Josh and try to get him to go home.
I don't know that I have anything meaningful to add to this story. Hamilton is an addict. His struggle with sobriety is ongoing, and this is something that shouldn't really shock anyone. I do think it is interesting that it happened now, when the team and Hamilton have been engaged in contract negotiations with a self-imposed deadline looming, and there is a part of me that wonders if the stress of the negotiations contributed to this incident. It also seems to make it less likely that a deal gets done before spring training starts, meaning that Josh Hamilton would be a free agent after the season.
Its also interesting that this relapse, like his other publicly-acknowledged one in 2009, took place in January, towards the end of the offseason. Hamilton has said that his use of cocaine started when he was sidelined with an injury. Maybe an "accountability partner" is more of a need during the offseason than when Hamilton is playing.
And for those who are acting like this is being blown out of proportion and it is no big deal, here's a quote from Josh that is in the S-T's piece this morning:
"I wasn't mentally fit to go in there, spiritually fit, and it just crossed my mind, 'Can I have a drink?' And, obviously, I can't," Hamilton said Aug. 8, 2009. "That was very well reinforced, and I can honestly say since that night I have not even had a thought of trying another one."
Josh said then, has said repeatedly, he can't have a drink because of his sobriety issues. That's what makes this a big deal.
Lots of coverage on the Hamilton situation this morning, of course.
Jeff Wilson has a story in the S-T about Hamilton here.
Richard Durrett writes about it here.
Anthony Andro has a story on it here.
T.R. Sullivan's piece is here.
Randy Galloway has an interesting column on the Hamilton situation, saying that Hamilton was apparently having significantly more than just a drink or two in this latest episode, and that Hamilton owes the Rangers a great deal more than he owes the union (who he's repeatedly stated he feels an obligation to, in these latest contract negotiations).
Galloway says that Hamilton has been asking for 6 years, $120 million -- remember, the Jayson Werth contract we've been assuming is a benchmark is 7 years, $126 million -- but that if he were in charge of the Rangers, he wouldn't give Hamilton more than a one year, $20 million deal at this point.
In non-Hamilton news, Wilson writes that while the Rangers are contemplating trading for Koji Uehara and re-signing Mike Gonzalez, it appears unlikely that the team will sign Roy Oswalt.
Durrett looks at the Rangers bench situation for 2012.