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Posted at 06:06 PM ET, 02/08/2012

Josh Hamilton visits MLB doctors in wake of alcohol relapse


(Max Faulkner - AP)
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton calmly sat behind a microphone last Friday and apologized for leaving himself open for “a weak moment.”

The 2010 American League MVP and recovering drug addict said he had “three or four drinks” during dinner on Monday and then more later that evening because of what he described as “a personal reason with a family member.”

Hamilton’s slugging prowess has made him one of the most feared hitters in Major League Baseball and the face of the Rangers’ franchise while his long road to recovery has made him a visible role model for recovering addicts — to reasons why the Rangers appear willing to do whatever it takes to prevent future “weak moments.”

This week Hamilton visited MLB and players’ association doctors in New York, accompanied by a new team staff assistant whose job includes keeping tabs on Hamilton.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday that one of Shayne Kelley’s new roles with the team is being in a support role for Hamilton.

Daniels said it was “unlikely” that the Rangers would discipline their star outfielder for his relapse, and would allow the MLB to handle the matter.

“Given what’s happened in the past, at this point it’s at their discretion,” Daniels said. “I think it’s kind of based on what the doctors find, and what they recommend, whether they feel like this was something bigger.”

Kelley, a former minor league strength and conditioning coach and college assistant coach and chaplain, takes over a position previously held by Johnny Narron, now the Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach.

In his public address last week, Hamilton stressed the importance of his own accountability in the ongoing recovery process.

“I cannot take a break from my recovery. My recovery is Christ. My recovery is an everyday process. When I take that one day off, it leaves me open for a moment of weakness and it's always been that way,” Hamilton said. “For everybody that I've hurt, for fans, kids, people that have addictions that look up to me, I apologize to you. When you're doing this, you don't mean to hurt anybody, but you're only thinking it hurts yourself, but I know it hurt a lot of people.”

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By  |  06:06 PM ET, 02/08/2012

 
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