Hamilton Avoids Suspension to Angels' Chagrin | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Hamilton Avoids Suspension to Angels' Chagrin

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    Josh Hamilton #32 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sits in the dugout after scoring a run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 7, 2013 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

    Josh Hamilton was already set to miss the first month or so of the 2015 season after undergoing shoulder surgery this winter.

    Then, it was reported that Hamilton self-reported a drug and alcohol relapse to the league, which violated the drug treatment program. The thought was that Hamilton could be suspended for 25 games, possibly more, but now an independent arbiter has ruled Hamilton can't be suspended because he never failed a drug test, instead reporting his own use to the office of the commissioner.

    The MLB isn't happy about the ruling, and you can bet the Angels aren't either.

    It means the Angels will have to pay Hamilton his full salary for this season when it appeared almost a slam dunk they wouldn't have to. Hamilton, of course, conned the Angels into giving him a five-year, $125 million deal prior to the 2013 season, and in two seasons with the Angels he's managed just 31 homers and 123 RBIs — a great season, but painfully mediocre over two years.

    Hamilton won the 2010 AL MVP award with the Rangers and helped lead them to the World Series in 2010 and 2011, when he hit what appeared to be the title-clinching homer in the 10th inning of Game 6 before the Cardinals came back to win and force Game 7. He collapsed down the stretch in 2012 and had Rangers fans booing him in his final home game — the AL Wild Card Game loss to Baltimore.