Josh Hamilton just spoke to the media about his falling off the wagon on Monday night in Dallas.
Hamilton said he had “a weak moment” Monday night. Brought on by “personal reasons, with a family member.” He said he walked to a restaurant and had three or four drinks. He said he called Ian Kinsler. Kinsler joined him at the restaurant, but he did not know Hamilton had been drinking. “I can be sneaky and deceptive,” Hamilton said.
After the restaurant closed, he and Kinsler went to another location where Hamilton said he didn’t drink in Kinsler’s presence, but resumed doing so after Kinsler left. He said that there were pictures taken by people and that he assumes that they’ll leak out eventually, though there wasn’t any suggestion that they’re going to be particularly interesting or salacious.
Hamilton said that he he had two drug tests since Monday and says he is clean. He said alcohol is a different thing for him and “a switch flips.” He made no excuses. “It was just wrong,” Hamilton said. He said “90 percent of the time I’m fine,” but that not everyone is fine all the time. He said he’s going “to lean on some shoulders and, hopefully, we’ll get to a point where people can lean on mine again.”
All-in-all, Hamilton sounds contrite and accountable. He plans on meeting with the league and the union in New York and to consult doctors who have dealt with his addiction in the past. I’m not sure that there is anything else he could say or do at this point. It’s, as far as anyone not close to the situation can tell, all he can do and all you’d hope to hear from him.
I imagine that this is very similar to the sort of struggle every addict has. Except Hamilton, by virtue of who he is, is forced to do it all in public.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.