Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup for the Rangers on Monday night against the A’s after missing five games due to vision problems and balance issues. Most people refer to this mysterious condition as vertigo, and it can sometimes come and go without explanation. In Hamilton’s case, the Rangers say an optometrist believes his condition, specifically called ocular keratitis, may have been caused by drinking too much caffeine.
“It’s me we’re talking about here,” Hamilton joked with reporters prior to Monday’s game. “Guys, it’s me — it’s Josh. It’s going to be something weird. I was loading up on caffeine, and I’m out there in the bright lights. I can’t control my eyes. They are stuck.”
As Big League Stew pointed out, this is not an unprecedented condition in major league baseball. Braves catcher Brian McCann improved his vision problems when he cut back on caffeine in 2010 and Johnny Damon did the same back in 2009.
“Drinking caffeine, coffee in the morning, coffee midday, e