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.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.