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Josh Hamilton Press Conference: Rangers Star Takes Full Responsibility For Addiction Relapse

Speaking without prepared remarks to the media in a press conference Friday afternoon, Texas Rangers OF Josh Hamilton was contrite, accepting full responsibility his lapse in sobriety earlier in the week:

My life, in general, is based on making the right choices. Everything, as far as my recovery, as far as baseball goes, it’s all based around my relationship with the Lord. I give [playing on the field] everything I absolutely have, when I don’t do that off the field, I leave myself open for a weak moment. I had a weak moment Monday night in Dallas, personal reasons with a family member. Walked to a restaurant to have some dinner, and ended up ordering a drink.

Hamilton later called Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, one of his closest friends on the team, to hang out that night, although Kinsler did not know the former MVP had been drinking:

Ian did not know I had been drinking, because once I do drink I can be very deceptive and very sneaky. While he was there, I did not drink in front of him. I did exactly what I told him I would not do. No one saw me with a beer or a drink in my hand, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that I was doing something knowing that does not work for me.

In contrast to his last public relapse in 2009, which ended with embarrassing photos of him doing body shots all over the internet and rumors of drug use, the Rangers OF strongly denied that he had done anything beside shave a few drinks on Monday:

I’ve had two drug tests since Monday; I have no concerns there at all. However, anytime I drink there’s a point where a switch flips and you never know where that point is going to be reached.

Hamilton, who did not take questions from the media, ended his remarks by apologizing to the fans, the organization and his family:

For everyone who I’ve hurt -- fans, kids, people who have addictions -- I apologize to you. When you’re doing this, you think you’re only hurting yourself but as I know, it hurts a lot of people. I do understand: I can’t take a break. How hard I play on the field is how hard I need to take my relationship with the Lord and focus on that and that is my recovery. I ask everyone who is watching to pray for me and my family because it never gets easy. I need to take responsibility and take the lead in making choices and being the man I’m supposed to be.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.