Josh Hamilton struggled at the plate for over two months, and both he and Rangers manager Ron Washington said there were some problems going on unrelated to injury. Hamilton left the problems a mystery, but said he was being disobedient to God and that the media would find out about it at the right time. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says he knows what the problem has been for Hamilton.
According to Heyman, Hamilton is struggling with quitting chewing tobacco. Heyman cites a source in saying Hamilton has been disappointed with himself for his inability to quit chewing tobacco, and that he could have also been talking about disappointment with his lack of plate discipline as a hitter recently when he made cryptic comments to the media.
Hamilton reportedly began slumping when he tried to quit. He also has tried to quit several times, according to the report.
Based on that information, it’s understandable why Hamilton would be disappointed. Not only is he letting himself down by being unable to quit, but he’s also letting his team and the fans down because his performance is hurting. It’s a vicious cycle that could be a blow to a person’s self-esteem.
Fans who only care about their team rather than the well-being of an individual will probably want Hamilton to do anything that will get him back to dominating. That’s a cold approach to life. They should want what’s best for Hamilton, and that is for the slugger to beat the addiction. And for those like me who speculated he could be going through much more serious issues such as divorce or a drug or alcohol relapse, this report is actually a relief.
UPDATE: Hamilton released a statement saying that “discipline” — both at the plate and regarding quitting chewing tobacco — has been his issue.
“I was hesitant to address the tobacco once again, because it’s an area that I’ve struggled with trying to quit in the past,” Hamilton said. “I wanted to have some time of success ‘under my belt’ before addressing it again publicly but feel I haven’t been given that option with all of the speculating out there as to what the ‘mystery issue’ was.”Google+