Shayne Kelley to help Josh Hamilton

Updated: February 8, 2012, 12:13 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Texas Rangers have hired Shayne Kelley as a major league staff assistant and part of his duties will be to support Josh Hamilton, general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday night.

Kelley, a graduate of the University of Alabama, will also help hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and the Rangers coaching staff as part of his duties.

Daniels said that Kelley has already started in his position and accompanied Hamilton to New York on Monday as the slugger saw two doctors, one with MLB and one with the union. Daniels said he's expecting a full report on that meeting within the next few days.

The meetings with doctors were Monday, a week after Hamilton said he had "three or four" drinks during dinner in Dallas and then had more drinks later that evening. Hamilton apologized Friday without taking questions about what happened, saying he had a "weak moment" that stemmed from "personal reasons" involving a family member.

Daniels said he plans on checking in with MLB to see how Hamilton's visit to New York went and what, if anything, MLB plans to do. But Daniels said it's unlikely the team will sanction Hamilton, saying the club feels this is more governed by the league and the conditions of Hamilton's reinstatement.

"We'll defer to MLB on how they want to handle it," Daniels said Tuesday, before appearing at a Rangers Winter Caravan stop in Fort Worth.

Hamilton said he took no drugs, and never thought of doing so last week. He has had several drug tests since then as part of his regular mandated routine.

Daniels said Hamilton was at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday working out and preparing for the season.

The general manager added that he doesn't like the term "accountability partner," when it comes to Kelley's position.

"The only person accountable for Josh is Josh and he understands that," Daniels said. "We'll support him, just like we do for all of our players."

Daniels said the club received more unsolicited interest for the job of Hamilton's support person than any other position since Daniels has been with the Rangers. He said a flood of resumes, cover letters and emails came in from people all around the country who felt they were qualified to help Hamilton.

Kelley fills the position vacated by Johnny Narron, who left this offseason to become the hitting coach of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kelley has a religious background as team chaplain at Alabama from 1996-99, though he won't handle that role with the Rangers. Kelley has been around baseball at the college and high school level for more than 15 years, including a two-year stint as minor league strength and conditioning coach for the Kansas City Royals.

The Rangers last week put on hold talks about a contract extension for Hamilton, who can be a free agent after the upcoming season.

After being the No. 1 overall draft pick by Tampa Bay in 1999, Hamilton got involved in drugs and alcohol. He missed the entire 2003, 2004 and 2005 seasons and served several suspensions. He didn't make his major league debut until 2007 with Cincinnati, and was traded after that season to Texas, where he has become one of the best players in baseball for the team that won the last two American League pennants. He was the AL MVP in 2010.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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