(SportsNetwork.com) – Former American League MVP Josh Hamilton reportedly
suffered a cocaine and alcohol relapse.
The Angels outfielder met with Major League Baseball officials on Wednesday in
New York for what was termed a “disciplinary issue.”
On Thursday, the New York Daily News cited a source as saying Hamilton had a
relapse with his previous drug problems.
Hamilton had been spending the offseason in Houston recovering from surgery to
repair the AC joint in his right shoulder. He undergoes regular drug testing
as a condition of his reinstatement into baseball in 2005. The veteran was
suspended for three seasons between 2003-05 for well-documented issues of
The 33-year-old veteran went on to beat his addiction and become one of the
game’s most feared hitters over a five-year span with the Texas Rangers from
2008-12. Hamilton was named an AL All-Star in each of those seasons and
captured the league’s MVP award in 2010 when he batted .359 with 32 homers and
100 RBI and helped the Rangers to the World Series.
Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in December
of 2012, but had a disappointing first season with the club and was limited to
just 89 games by injuries this last year.
The 1999 No. 1 overall pick managed just 10 homers and 44 RBI along with a
.263 average in 2014, missing nearly two months with a calf strain and most of
September with shoulder problems. Hamilton returned for the AL Division
Series, but was hitless in 13 at-bats as the Angels were swept by Kansas City.
Hamilton admitted to having brief relapses with alcohol in both 2009 and 2012,
though those incidents were not punishable under MLB’s current drug policy.