Texas Rangers outfielder and recovering alcoholic Josh Hamilton admitted on Friday he had suffered a relapse in two Dallas-area establishments this week, a moment of weakness he hoped never to repeat.
I feel terrible about this, let a lot of people down, Hamilton told a news conference at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. The last four days I really beat myself up. There's nobody that feels worse than I do.
I'm going to do everything I can to lean on some shoulders so hopefully I can get back to the point where people will lean on me. To everybody I hurt ... fans, kids, people who have addictions who look up to me ... I apologize.
Hamilton, who did not take questions from the media, said he initially had a few drinks at a restaurant on Monday night, and then later had a few more at an establishment across the road.
I had a weak moment on Monday night in Dallas, personal reasons with a family member, said Hamilton, who was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2010.
[We] walked to a restaurant to have dinner and ended up ordering a drink. I had three or four drinks there.
After meeting up at a different venue later on Monday with his Rangers teammate Ian Kinsler, who had no idea he had been drinking, Hamilton left and then returned on his own to have some more drinks.
It was just wrong, and that's all it comes down to, Hamilton said. I needed to be in a different place, I needed to be responsible at that moment, that period, and I was not responsible.
Those actions of mine have hurt a lot of people that are very close to me. But as far as baseball and the Rangers, they've shown nothing but support for me and tell me they'll continue to support me.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the club was in the process of hiring an accountability partner for Hamilton, with their overriding concern for the outfielder and his family.
This is not a baseball story -- this is real, Daniels said. This is something Josh has to deal with, how it affects him and the people around him. He and his family, that is where our heads are right now. We want to make sure we support him on this.
Hamilton, who is tested for drug use three times a week, missed the 2004 and 2005 seasons because of problems with drugs and alcohol.
Since being acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in 2007, he has been loyally supported by the Rangers who did not discipline the outfielder after he had a relapse in January 2009 when he was found drinking heavily in a bar in Tempe, Ariz.
Hamilton, an American League All-Star in each of his four seasons with the Rangers, immediately reported that incident, passed a drug test, and then had counseling.
The 30-year-old had not been reportedly involved in any further incidents until this week.
Hamilton's wife, Katie, posted on her Twitter account on Friday: Truly appreciate all the encouraging & supportive tweets we've been getting. God is faithful and forgives -- so thankful that you all are ... showing us such love and encouragement during this time.