For the first time in five games, Josh Hamilton will be in the Rangers lineup tonight for the first of four against the A's, who conveniently lurk four games behind in the West with 10 games to go. Hamilton has been sidelined with blurred vision and balance issues, reportedly caused by a sinus infection. His disappearance from the lineup came with some amount of ridicule -- Curt Shilling can pitch the World Series with a broken ankle and you run sniffling to the dugout with a runny nose? -- but that was before the severity of Hamilton's diagnosis became clear.
ESPN is reporting that an optometrist has diagnosed Hamilton with ocular keratitis, a.k.a. dry corneas. The cause? Too many energy drinks.
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If you're scoring at home, this is the second time this season Hamilton's struggles with an addictive substance have spilled over onto the playing field. His July slump came as he tried to kick quit his chewing tobacco habit. Now it's caffeine. With Hamilton, though, it could obviously be worse.