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Josh Hamilton apologizes for drinking in a 'weak moment'

The Rangers outfielder, who is a recovering drug and alcohol addict, had 'three or four' drinks at a Dallas-area bar earlier this week.

February 03, 2012|Staff and wire reports
  • Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton talks to reporters during a news conference about his alcohol relapse earlier this week.
Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton talks to reporters during a news conference… (Layne Murdoch / Getty Images )

Texas Rangers outfielder and recovering drug addict Josh Hamilton said Friday that he had a relapse that started with "three or four" drinks at a Dallas-area bar this week, apologizing for a "weak moment" and insisting he will try to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The 30-year-old Hamilton said his actions "are mine that hurt a lot of people very close to me."

Hamilton was suspended for more than three years for drug and alcohol use while in the Tampa Bay organization. The former No. 1 overall draft pick missed the entire 2004 and 2005 seasons, but has become one of the best players in baseball on a team that has won the last two American League pennants. He was the AL MVP in 2010.

But Hamilton this week had his second known alcohol-related relapse in three years. Both came during the off-season.

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Right-hander Matt Garza has agreed to a $9.5 million, one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, just before the scheduled start of a salary arbitration hearing in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Friday's agreement was $725,000 below the midpoint between the $12.5 million the pitcher had asked for in arbitration last month and $7.95 million the Cubs had offered.

Garza was acquired from Tampa Bay in January 2011 and went 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA in his first season with the Cubs, when he made $5.95 million. He had a team-high 197 strikeouts in 198 innings.

The 28-year-old Garza is 52-54 with a 3.83 ERA in 152 career games over six seasons.

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The Dodgers have reached an agreement with reliever Todd Coffey on a one-year contract, the team announced. The contract, which includes a club option for 2013, is guaranteed for $1.3 million.

Coffey, a 31-year-old right-hander, has a career earned-run average of 4.08 over seven major-league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals. He posted a 3.62 ERA in 69 appearances for the Nationals last season.

Coffey will add experience and durability to a young Dodgers bullpen. He has made at least 69 appearances in each of his last three seasons.

— Dylan Hernandez

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The Indians have officially added first baseman Casey Kotchman to their roster.

Cleveland finalized its $3 million, one-year deal with Kotchman on Friday, a day after reaching the agreement.

Kotchman, who batted a career-high .306 last season for Tampa Bay, probably will be Cleveland's starting first basemen.

ETC.

Klaus Kroell edges Bode Miller in downhill

Klaus Kroell gave Austria its first World Cup downhill victory of the season Friday at Chamonix, France, edging Bode Miller by 0.01 seconds in a race so tight the top five skiers were separated by only 0.08 seconds.

Miller was faster than Kroell at every split, but the American lost time on the bottom section and finished an eye blink behind Kroell, who won in 2 minutes 4.22 seconds.

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Joe Barry, USC's linebackers coach for the last two seasons, has reached agreement to become linebackers coach for the San Diego Chargers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Barry, 41, coached in the NFL for 10 seasons before joining Coach Lane Kiffin's staff in 2010.

Barry could not be reached for comment. A USC spokesman said Kiffin declined to comment.

Barry's departure leaves Kiffin with two vacancies on his staff. Willie Mack Garza resigned as defensive backs coach on the eve of the 2011 season.

— Gary Klein

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University of Connecticut basketball Coach Jim Calhoun, who missed three games earlier this season because of NCAA sanctions, is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence because of back problems.

The Hall of Fame coach of the defending national champions, who turns 70 in May, has been suffering for several months from spinal stenosis, a lower back condition that causes him severe pain and hampers mobility, he told the Associated Press on Friday.

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The New Orleans Hornets have decided to reactivate 7-foot center Chris Kaman, who had been excused from team activities since last week while the club sought to trade him, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The person spoke to the Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced. Kaman likely won't join the Hornets for Saturday's game at Detroit but probably will return Monday against Sacramento.

The person said the relationship between Kaman and Hornets Coach Monty Williams was fine. But when General Manager Dell Demps hoped a trade would develop quickly, Williams wanted to start working younger players into the rotation.

Once a trade didn't happen as quickly as they thought, it made sense to bring Kaman back, the person said.

Kaman, 29, was acquired by New Orleans in the multiplayer trade that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers before the season, but has struggled to find a consistent role with the Hornets. He's mostly backed up center Emeka Okafor.

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Orlando forward Glen Davis has been suspended for two games by the Magic for conduct detrimental to the team. He will miss Friday's home game against Cleveland and Saturday's game at Indiana.

Orlando Coach Stan Van Gundy acknowledged before Friday night's game that some sort of verbal incident took place during the team's walk-through Friday morning, but denied anything physical occurred between the two.

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After 11 years as executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation, Marie Ishida announced on Friday that she will retire at the end of the 2011-12 school year.

She has headed the organization that runs high school sports in California since 2001. A search for a replacement will begin immediately, with an announcement expected at the May meeting of the State Federated Council.

Her departure comes as the CIF is preparing to revise its transfer rules and start a new state football bowl structure that includes regional games.

— Eric Sondheimer

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