Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, who waged a battle against cocaine abuse, says his use and that of Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington "are nothing alike."
Hamilton's comment came after Washington admitted today that he
made a "huge mistake" when he used cocaine and failed a Major
League Baseball drug test last season. In his first public
admission, Washington apologized today for his behavior, eight
months after he told Rangers president Nolan Ryan, who turned down
Washington's offer to resign.
Josh Hamilton has a long history of drug abuse and was suspended
for the 2004 season when he was in the minors for Tampa Bay. The
All-Star outfielder is the most prominent player in the last decade
to be disciplined for a recreational drug. He's been outspoken
about his crack cocaine habit. He said there were no parallels
between his problems and Washington's admission of one-time use.
In Hamilton's words, "I was addicted to drugs. All I cared
about was getting more and using more drugs. I didn't care who I
hurt." In Washington's case, Hamilton says, "This was something
of a weak moment, a decision of choice ... Our stories are nothing
alike. The fact is he made a mistake. He learned from it very
quickly. I made a mistake a few too many times and didn't learn
Hamilton says Washington "was very emotional" when he told his
players about the matter this morning and asked for their
forgiveness. Says Hamilton, "You could tell that he's a broken man
from this one bad choice he made."