Josh Hamilton says Angels denied him chance to speak to owner Arte Moreno

ByJean-Jacques Taylor ESPN logo
Sunday, May 17, 2015

FRISCO, Texas -- Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said the Los Angeles Angels front office prevented him from talking to owner Arte Moreno.

Hamilton, who signed a five-year, $125 million deal, hit just .255 with 31 homers and 123 RBI in two seasons with the Angels before they traded him to the Rangers in April for cash considerations.

"I told everybody from MLB to [manager] Mike Scioscia, even when I was there and wasn't playing in 2013, I wasn't being the guy that I was supposed to be," Hamilton said Saturday before his game with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders. "In 2014, same thing. I tried to reach out to the owner, Arte, and talk to him and tell him, 'You know what? I'm working my butt off, and I want to be the guy that played against you for all these years.' I was always turned down by the general manager and team president. They said they would let him know."

Hamilton, who had shoulder surgery Feb. 4, admitted to Major League Baseball that he had a drug and alcohol relapse in late February, prompting the Angels to trade him.

"Same thing after this incident and after surgery," Hamilton said. "I talked to [Angels GM] Jerry DiPoto. 'You know Jerry, I'd love to talk to Arte and reassure him that things are OK,' and he turned me down again.

"I did what I needed to do to be a responsible man and employee and reach out to him, and I was always denied that opportunity, so my hands are clean."

A spokesman for the Angels said the team would not comment on Hamilton's remarks.

Hamilton said the last time he spoke with Moreno was "sometime during the season" last year. The Angels reacted angrily when an arbitrator ruled in April that Hamilton could not be suspended for his latest relapse. Asked at the time whether Hamilton would play for the Angels again, Moreno said, "I will not say that."

Hamilton spent time in extended spring training after the Rangers acquired him, and has spent the past week with the Rangers' Triple-A club in Round Rock. He's expected to spend the next several days with the Rangers' Double-A team in Frisco, a Dallas suburb.

"When you haven't been yourself for a while, it's not that easy to just flip back over and do it every time," said Hamilton, who was 4-of-19 with two RBIs in Round Rock. "You need people around you that can remind you and help get you back to where you need to be."

Hamilton will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, and the Rangers will determine whether he needs more time in the minors or whether he's ready for the big leagues.

"I've grown up a little bit," Hamilton said. "I understand that I can't make up for lost time, so I need to prepare right now."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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