Josh Hamilton: “I had a weak moment … it was just wrong”

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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.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.