By now, the saga of Josh Hamilton is well-known: #1 draft pick, flamed out spectacularly like a squirrel in a bonfire, then a triumphant, clean return to the game that climaxed in an awe-inspiring performance at the 2008 Home Run Derby.
But then DEADSPIN released a dozen photos of Hamilton, often shirtless and surrounded by gleefully revelrous young ladies. That’s one above, and the other 11 are similary raucous - and damning, considering Hamilton’s supposed to have been off the sauce for years.
Time for lame denials and no-comments? Actually, no. In a moment of refreshing, welcome honesty, Hamilton immediately fessed up to everything. Seriously, he actually did that. To wit, as BIG LEAGUE STEW is reporting via Twitter:
Hamilton: “I’m embarrassed about it. I can’t have alcohol. it’s a realization. Its amazing how those things creep back in.”
Hamilton: “I am human. I still have struggles.”
[Texas Rangers GM] Jon Daniels says Hamilton did not violate policy, which did not prohibit alcohol.
Hamilton talked to Daniels in January directly after the incident happened.
We’re looking at these pictures and wishing we had “struggles” that involved body shots with cleavage like that. But given Hamilton’s history and the fact that he’s married to a woman who’s - ahem - not seen in these photos, this was very, very bad behavior.
Worse, as Deadspin reports, Hamilton inquired about acquiring cocaine, though there was no indication that he ever got any (he didn’t at the bar, anyway). We don’t know if he was ever tested for drugs in the window where that might show up, but considering Daniels was immediately made aware of Hamilton’s lapse (and that Hamilton is unusually candid about his struggles), we imagine the lack of suspension over the incident is as sure a sign as any available that he kept his nose clean.
So there’s that.