- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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ARLINGTON -- The full transcript from Josh Hamilton's Friday press conference at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, addressing the recovering drug and alcohol addict's relapse this week:
I want to thank everybody for being here, I'm sorry it's under this circumstance
You know, my life in general is based on making the right choices. Everything as far as my recovery, as far as my baseball goes, it's all based around my relationship with the Lord. And I look at it like that. You guys all know how hard I play on the field and I give it everything I absolutely have. When I don't do that off the field, I leave myself open for a weak moment
I had a weak moment on Monday night in Dallas, personal reasons with a family member. But I walked to a restaurant to have some dinner, and did just that, had dinner and ended up ordering a drink and probably had three or four drinks.
Ended up calling Ian [Kinsler] just to come kind of hang out with me. Ian did not know I had been drinking because once I do drink, I can be very deceptive, very sneaky in a lot of ways. So while he was there, I did not drink in front of him.
So anyway, we finished up at this restaurant, and this restaurant was closing. So we decided just to go across the street to another place that stayed open, and we're just talking baseball, talking family, talking life, what we were doing, how our families were, all these things.
And so go across to the other place, stayed 25, 30 minutes, he has to go home, so he drives me back to where I needed to be, which is a quarter of a mile away, I mean, not far at all. And his words were, he said, “I'll see you later.” He said, “You're not going to go back out or anything, are you?” I said, “No,” and then, “I'm good.” Then I did exactly what I told him I wouldn't do. And so I went back out to the place we had just left probably 30 minutes later and, um, you know, had some more drinks and when I talk about sneaky, nobody saw me actually with a beer in my hand or a drink in my hand. I can find ways to figure out when people can see that, so, but it doesn't excuse the fact that I was doing something that, knowing that does not work for me. And when I do things that don't work for me.
No drugs were used at all. I never thought about it. I've had two drug tests since Monday, so I have no concerns there at all. But any time I drink, there's a point that comes where a switch flips and you never know when that point's going to be reached, whether it's the first three or four, or the 15th. And that's what's so dangerous about it.
So, anyway ... things happened that me personally I'm not proud of after I drank, and they are personal and are being handled as that.
But other than that, guys, knowing this was going to get out in social media, Twitter, people get excited … There was no pictures taken of me having a beer with somebody or anything like that, but I did take pictures with people. … It was just wrong. That’s all it comes down to. I needed to be in a different place. I needed to be responsible at that moment, that day, period, and I was not responsible and so those actions are mine that hurt a lot of people very close to me.
As far as baseball and the Rangers, they’ve shown nothing but support to me and tell me that they’ll continue to support me.
After this happens and praying about it, I cannot take a break from my recovery. My recovery is Christ. My recovery is an every-day process, because when I take that one day off, it leaves me open for that moment of weakness and it’s always been that way. So for everybody who I have hurt, for everybody – fans, kids, people who have addictions and look up to me – I apologize to you. When you’re doing this, you don’t mean to hurt anybody. You only think you’re hurting yourself, but as I know, you’re hurting a lot of people.
So I have a lot to look at as far as things that are going on inside. They aren’t bad things, guys, they aren’t things that are worrisome as far as me running back out after we leave here and going to drink or things like that. I’m getting to the point where I understand – and, like I told you, I do understand – I can’t take a break. And that goes from what I said before as far as how hard I play on the field is how hard I need to take my relationship with the Lord and just really focus on that, because that is my recovery and everybody understands that.
I just ask everybody who’s watching and listening to pray for me and pray for my family as we go through this difficult time to pray for me and pray for my family, because it never gets easy. It never gets easy.
I put my wife through a lot in our marriage and she’s a very strong woman. It’s about time I became the strong one in the relationship, take responsibility and take the lead in making choices, making decisions and stepping up and being the man I’m supposed to be and not continue to hurt her, put my kids in situations where they might hear things. It’s not a good situation for anybody.
I’m going to be doing a lot of soul searching, really focusing on, like I said, the Lord, praying about it. I have a great support team. You guys know I have a great support team. It’s about me getting to the point where somebody asks me if I’m fine, 90 percent of the time I am fine. Well, everybody can’t be fine all the time. It’s about me before I make that bad decision, take a drink, just call somebody, just talk to somebody. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to show weakness. Everybody has them. The people I have around me are here for that reason, they love me, they’ve done nothing but support me. It’s been an absolute blessing for me to have them in my life. They’ll continue to do that.
I will be flying to New York at some point soon just to meet with the doctors, major league side, players’ side and just talk with them a little bit about what happened and continue to do my testing as I have been for a long time. Any time something like this happens, you want to go back, you want to visit things. You want to try and see where you went wrong and let everybody that has helped you in the past and wants to help you really help you.
Like I said before, I feel terrible about this because I feel like I let a lot of people down. I beat myself up for the last four or five days for this, four days. There’s nobody that feels worse than I do. I’m going to do everything I can to lean on some shoulders and hopefully I can get back to the point where people can lean on mine again.
I didn’t have anything prepared, guys. You know I always speak from the heart and that’s the best way to do it. I don’t want to come in and read something, show no emotion at all. You guys know me, you’ve been around me long enough to know you can look at my face and tell that I mean what I say.
I understand I’m going to do everything I can, take all the steps necessary, whatever the steps may be, whether it be going to counseling, talk to somebody. Everything is open at this point.
I don’t want you guys knowing everybody out there who’s watching or going to read about this think he’s fine with it, he’s not hurt by it. Well, I am hurt by it tremendously, more so for my wife and my kids and the Rangers organization. They’ve been nothing but great. I appreciate everything they’ve done, supporting me. It’s just awesome to be able to work for somebody that really cares for you and not just what you can do for them, and they’ve been great for my family.
I said I’m not going to take any questions and I’m not. I’m just going to leave that statement as is. I appreciate you guys not trying to pry into me and my family’s personal things going on right now. I really appreciate that. I know there’s going to be one or two people that do. I am not naming names because I don’t know who it’s going to be. We’ll deal with that too.
Like I said before, I’m sorry it had to be this way. It would be nice if it was talking about a contract, but we’ll put that on the back burner for a while.
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