Josh Hamilton cleared to play
Josh Hamilton, the No. 1 overall pick of the 1999 draft who has been suspended since February 2004 because of persistent drug and alcohol problems, has been cleared by Major League Baseball to play. He is expected to join the Devil Rays’ short-season Class A team at Hudson Valley (N.Y.).
Hamilton, who spent two weeks working out at the Naimoli Complex during extended spring training, has been waiting to hear if he can take the next step in his comeback. “It feels awesome,” Hamilton said. “It’s what I’ve been looking for. I’m very excited to get started.”
Hamilton, 25, says he has been clean since October and is drug tested three times a week.
--Damian Cristodero, Times staff writer