Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers has suffered another relapse, according to reports. The baseball star, an alcohol and drug addict, apparently fell off the wagon again.
According to the Dallas Morning News, citing individuals familiar with the episode, Hamilton drank alcohol Monday night at Sherlock's Pub & Grill in Dallas.
Hamilton's teammate Ian Kinsler also showed up for what appeared to be an attempt to persuade the outfielder to call it a night and return home.
A ballplayer drinking in a bar in the offseason would normally be a non-story, obviously, but given Josh Hamilton's history of abuse, and how outspoken he's been about falling victim to, and later avoiding drugs and alcohol, it's anything but.
This was Hamilton's second alcohol-related relapse in three years.
In January 2009, he drank to excess in a bar in Tempe, Ariz. A day after the 2009 incident, Hamilton informed his family, the Rangers and Major League Baseball.
The four-time All-Star and 2010 MVP passed an immediate drug test and participated in an MLB-mandated counseling program. The Rangers took no punitive measures.This relapse comes at a time when the Rangers and Hamilton are talking about a long-term contract that would keep him from becoming free agent at the end of 2012.
Along with the issue of Josh Hamilton's history of health issues, his history of substance abuse is a concern that comes into play in determining Texas' commitment.
A Rangers spokesman acknowledged the existence of a "situation," but said nothing else, and all we really know at this point is that Hamilton was reportedly drinking.
Hamilton, 30, was the #1 pick in the 1999 MLB draft. He missed 2003-2006 because of his addictions, only to pull off a remarkable, inspiring comeback thereafter.
Here's hoping he gets the help he needs to stay on the right track.