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Hamilton arrives at Angels camp lean and ready


TEMPE, Ariz. -- A new chapter of Josh Hamilton's life officially began on Tuesday, when he arrived at Spring Training in a new facility to begin a new tenure with a new team.

He's doing it at a new weight, too.

The Angels' high-priced outfielder showed up to Tempe Diablo Stadium two days earlier than scheduled and about 20 pounds lighter than normal. Hamilton had usually been between 245 and 255 pounds when arriving at Rangers camp. Now, he says, he's at 225 -- the weight at which he normally finishes the season.

"Body feels better, joints feel better, energy level is up," Hamilton reported.

The weight loss is simply a product of watching what he eats, eliminating bread from his diet and replacing processed foods with fruit and vegetable juices. He's also mostly eliminated caffeine, which he used to compensate for quitting chewing tobacco during a rough second half last season.

Hamilton credits the change in eating habits to his faith.

"The Lord kept waking me up in the middle of the night over a month period, and I'd either have the Church Channel on or Daystar Television," Hamilton said. "And every time I'd wake up, there'd be a doctor on talking about what you put in your body -- how it makes you feel. Then, I woke up one night and the juice lady was on. I always prayed that the Lord would help me feel better and help my body, this and that. That's all great, but am I doing my part? That's kind of where I was like: 'All right, it's time to do my part.'"

Pitchers and catchers had their first workout on Tuesday, taking part in pitchers fielding practice and batting practice and throwing bullpen sessions.

While that was going on, Hamilton shagged some fly balls in right field and joined Pujols for batting practice in the back fields. Hamilton knew Pujols only "in passing," but has always shared a bond with him because of their stature in the Majors and their faith.

"Today's the first time I got to spend a little time with him," Hamilton said. "I've always heard things as far as him taking his job serious, working hard, staying focused and doing the best he can to win ballgames. You can definitely see that working out with him.

"He looked good. It was one of those things where it's just good to get out there with a new teammate, somebody who's thought as highly as Albert in the game, and somebody who's probably the best player, best hitter in the game. It's going to be good. It's going to be exciting for me to possibly hit behind him and pick his brain. It'll be fun."

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