[Update] Josh confirmed the photos and admits that he was drinking. Says it was an isolated incident.
“I’m embarrassed about it, personally, for the Rangers, for my wife, my children and my family,” Hamilton said at his locker with a handful of his teammates joining the crowd of media that had formed. “It reinforces one of the things that I can’t have is alcohol. It’s unfortunate that it happened. I was out there getting ready for the season and took my focus off the number one factor in my recovery – my relationship with Christ. I hate that this happened…”I wasn’t mentally fit or spiritually fit,” he said. “It just crossed my mind ‘Can I have a drink?’ Obviously, I can’t. One drink leads to two and two drink leads to 10 or 12.
[12:46pm] Sad story being reported today by Deadspin. They have obtained several pictures of Josh Hamilton. These photos show Hamilton shirtless in a Tempe, Arizona bar last March.
The pictures do not show Hamilton drinking, but he is definitely doing things with some young women that a married man should not be doing. If you click on each individual photo at Deadspin, you can read the story from the person that took the photos.
The girls left. According to one patron, Hamilton, piss-drunk by that point, asked the manager where he could buy blow. The manager didn’t know. “Let’s go to a strip club,” Hamilton said. Someone drove Hamilton to Les Girls in Phoenix, Arizona.
Again, Hamilton is not seen drinking or doing drugs in any of these photos, but as the author noted, “would a sober Josh Hamilton agree to be photographed laying across the bar shirtless, covered in whip cream with his head between a random girl’s crotch?”
Since Hamilton was lost by the Rays in the Rule 5 Draft in 2007 and became an All-Star outfielder, many have ripped the Rays front office for giving up on the former #1 overall pick so easily. Others argued that no matter how good he is or how good he becomes, his life is always going to be one drink away from falling back into that very deep, and very dark hole.
Let’s hope for Josh’s sake that there is a very good explanation for this.
HERE is a second story via Deadspin in which Hamilton’s mentor responds to the allegations. Also, the Rangers will address the photos prior to today’s game.
The Devil Is Still In Josh Hamilton [Deadspin]