Scioscia says Hamilton's needs were met with Angels
Manager doesn't believe clubhouse environment was lacking
ANAHEIM -- The Angels and Rangers are working on a trade that would send Josh Hamilton back to the environment where he thrived, sources told MLB.com on Friday, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia doesn't believe there was anything wrong with the clubhouse environment the Angels provided for Hamilton the last two years.
"The process of supporting Josh obviously was magnified because of his history, and those needs were met," said Scioscia, who was speaking in generalities and would not comment on a potential trade sending Hamilton to the Rangers. "Those needs were met from both Josh's side and the organization's side. I feel very confident about that."
An intense drug and alcohol addiction took Hamilton -- the first overall pick out of high school in 1999 -- away from baseball from the start of 2003 until his reinstatement in June 2006. Hamilton spent his rookie season with the Reds and went to the Rangers in December 2007, ultimately starting five consecutive All-Star Games and winning the 2010 American League MVP Award.
Hamilton traveled with an accountability partner throughout his Major League career -- though he downsized the role for the 2014 season -- and suffered two alcohol-related relapses with the Rangers, in 2009 and '12. The Rangers were a loose bunch, and Hamilton's former manager, Ron Washington, acted as a father figure. They showed unrelenting support.
"We were a family for him here, not just the players, but the organization, the city in general," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said recently. "He made mistakes, like any human being, but here we believe that we're together in good times and bad times."
Speaking on April 3, after an independent arbitrator ruled Hamilton did not violate the terms of his treatment program and would not be suspended, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said the organization "followed the same blueprint that was laid out for him with the Texas Rangers and that seemed to be so successful at the time."
"Unless you have a 3-D printer, it's hard to duplicate things," C.J. Wilson, Hamilton's teammate with the Rangers and Angels, said Friday. "That's like saying that somebody used to date a girl, and she was like this, and now you want your new girl to be like that. Everything is its own situation every year.
"The nature of baseball is to constantly look forward to the next challenge and try to get the most out of it. The next challenge for Josh is to get back on the field and put all of this behind him."
• The Angels recalled infielder Grant Green from Triple-A Salt Lake, optioning Thursday starter Nick Tropeano so they could go back to the traditional four-man bench. Green, batting .328 in his first 13 games in the Minors, could get some starts in left field and at second base.
• Asked if he's concerned about the offense, which entered Friday tied for the lowest batting average in the Majors, Scioscia used a football analogy, saying: "We have to grind out those first downs. You can't always look for the long bomb. That's where our offense is right now. We need to grind it out, get guys on base."
• Mike Trout was presented with the Players Choice Award for American League Outstanding Player prior to Friday's game. In Trout's name, the Major League Baseball Players Trust donated $10,000 for the Marshall R. Smith Childhood Cancer Foundation and $10,000 for Ryan Dempster's Family Foundation.