Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton apologized Friday to not only fans, but to those who struggle with addiction and look up to him as a role model.
Reports surfaced Thursday night that Hamilton, who has been remarkably open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol addiction, was spotted drinking in a Dallas bar Monday night.
Hamilton called a press conference to discuss the allegations, saying said he stopped for dinner and ended up ordering a drink in a moment of weakness.
"I cannot take a break from my recovery," he said. "My recovery is Christ. My recovery is an everyday process. When I take one day off, it leaves me open for a moment of weakness. It's always been that way."
Hamilton said the one drink turned into three or four. Then he called teammate Ian Kinsler to come hang out, he said.
Kinsler joined Hamilton, and the two talked about baseball, family and life. Hamilton said Kinsler had no idea he'd been drinking because he is good at hiding it.
The pair continued to hang out and talk, eventually moving to a different restaurant before Kinsler needed to return home. Before leaving, Hamilton said Kinsler asked if he was going to go out again, and Hamilton said he lied and told his friend "no."
"He [Kinsler] said, 'You're not going to go back out or anything are you?' and I said, 'No, I'm in. I'm good.' And, I did exactly what I told him I wasn't doing," Hamilton said.
Hamilton said after Kinsler left he continued to sneak drinks in between taking photos with fans.
While explaining the events of that night, Hamilton didn't make any excuses about why he turned to alcohol.
"It was just wrong," he said. "That's all it comes down to. I needed to be in a different place. I needed to be responsible in that moment and I was not responsible. Those actions hurt a lot of people that are very close to me. Anytime I drink there's a point where a switch flips and you never know where that point is going to be reached -- first three or four or the 15th. That's what's so dangerous about it."
Hamilton said no illegal drugs were used and that he has taken two drug tests since that night. Hamilton then apologized to fans, children and anyone who looks up to him, including those struggling with addiction.
The All-Star outfielder said the Rangers have shown nothing but support during this most recent struggle and said that they will only continue to support him as he works through his addiction.
In a phone call Friday afternoon, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the relapse is something the team has to address from a perspective of providing help to their family member.
"I just want to be clear on something -- from our perspective, this is not a baseball story," he said. "How we view it, how I view it -- this is a, this is something that, this is real, this is something that Josh deals with. An addiction, an issue he has, that is affecting him and the people around him that care about him. He is a husband, a father first and foremost, and that is where our head is -- to make sure she has the support he needs and his family needs going forward."
Spring training starts later this month in Surprise, Ariz.