Bill Madden of The New York Daily News says MLB sources have verified that Los Angeles Angels outfielder, Josh Hamilton, suffered a cocaine and alcohol relapse.
CBSSports.com is reporting that L.A. general manager Jerry DiPoto confirmed Hamilton told MLB about his relapse. “I have no other information to offer.”
Hamilton’s father-in-law, Michael Chadwick, said Wednesday that Josh has “hit a bump in the road, keep him in your prayers.”
Hamilton underwent surgery on his right shoulder earlier this month and is not expected to return to the team until May. He has reportedly been rehabilitating his shoulder at a friend’s ranch in the Houston area, which a lot of people around baseball felt was a red flag.
Most players remain with their teams during spring training or the regular season while recovering from injuries.
A suspension could delay his return to the Angels until the All-Star break or beyond, and could put his career in jeopardy.
Roy Silver, one of Hamilton’s closest friends and a mentor in his struggles with addiction, spoke with Bob Nightengale of USA Today and said the best thing for the Angels outfielder is to retire from baseball.
Silver last spoke with Hamilton around Christmas. Based on conversations with mutual acquaintances, he’d feared Hamilton had suffered a relapse.
“He needs to get his life back in order,” Silver told USA Today. “Even three years ago, I told Josh that you might want to consider retirement.”
“It seems like he’s struggling with things. When you’ve been given three, four and five chances, and it’s still not working, it’s best to say, “This is it.’
“His life isn’t over, but his baseball career should be.”
Silver was instrumental in piecing Hamilton’s career – and life – back together after Hamilton missed the 2002-2006 seasons while recovering from addiction. Hamilton, the top overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays system, accepted a part-time job at Silver’s baseball academy – mowing grass, pulling weeds, even cleaning toilets – in exchange for use of the facility.